Wednesday, July 1, 2020

AIBCnews: Issue 189 - June 2020

Dear Members and Friends,

With this issue of AIBCnews we welcome the entry into force of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) on Sunday 5 July. Finally, after more than a decade of toil by many, this historic bilateral Agreement between our countries is a reality.

Once again AIBC is proud of the instrumental role we have played over this time, both individually and as a member of the Indonesia-Australia Business Partnership Group (IA-BPG). There are too many to single out for thanks here, but thanks do go to those that have played a key role over the years in getting this done. Our work is by no means over, and much will be required over the months and years ahead, to ensure this Agreement delivers on its promise to the businesses and economies of both countries.

Whilst COVID-19 still has terrible impacts, there is much that can be done to tap into the benefits of IA-CEPA, and many are already making advances. With so much focus having been brought on digital delivery, this will surely be a factor for all businesses as they shape their future plans. Many are also looking into the effects of COVID-19, including McKinsey in their recent study into “Discretionary spending in Indonesia amid and after the COVID-19 pandemic”, just as Indonesia is rated as an upper middle-income country by the World Bank.

AIBC was delighted last week to welcome Australia’s Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment, Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham, to launch IA-CEPA with us via the now very familiar Webinar format. With almost 1,700 registrations, this event attracted wide interest in both countries and beyond, which is a very encouraging sign in these early days of the new Agreement. Alongside this, our Government and many Industry Groups have been quoted recently in the media, extoling the virtues of IA-CEPA, and the Indonesian Government too has been encouraging Indonesian businesses to engage.