Leaders on Asia | Thumbs up for Australia Indonesia partnership

Indonesian Trade Minister confirms the strength of ties between two countries

L-R Indonesian Ambassador Nadjib, BKPM Chairman Lembong, Trade Minister Engar, Asia Society Australia Chairman Doug Ferguson and CEO Philipp Ivanov | Ellis Cowan/Asia Society

SYDNEY, Asia Society Australia was proud to be selected as the event partner for a special afternoon tea and business roundtable with Indonesia Trade Minister H.E. Enggartiasto Lukita and Chairman of BKPM, H.E. Thomas Lembong yesterday. 

A Keynote address to 100 business leaders from Indonesia and Australia by Minister Engar and remarks from Chairman Lembong confirmed that an Australia-Indonesia Economic Partnership Agreement (EPA) was on-track for the end of 2017. The two Ministers, standing in for President Jokowi, emphasised that an Aus-Indo EPA would be a "future-proof, living agreement, driven by the nature of business" and that "openness and competitiveness" would be at the heart of Indonesian trade policy moving forward. 

BKPM Chairman Lembong noted that the still-under-negotiation EPA would likely bring greater access to Indonesian markets for Australian financial services providers and creative approaches to filling labour shortages in Australia and skills shortages in Indonesia through seasonal workers schemes. 

Asia Society Australia Chairman Doug Ferguson presided as MC and moderated a panel discussion between Minister Engar, Chairman Lembong and Indonesian Ambassador Nadjib. While Dean Garvey from Australian success story Blackmores provided a case study of doing business in Indonesia. 

The Indonesian delegation was upbeat about the progress of EPA negotiations and told the 100 strong audience that Australia could expect a rescheduled visit from President Jokowi before too long. 

Our Leaders on Asia program presents high-profile events with visiting heads of state, ministers, senior officials, dignitaries and leading thinkers from the Indo-Pacific region and Australia. It provides members with a unique direct access to leaders who shape the present and future of our region. 

This event was proudly presented in partnership with IIPC Sydney 


Thomas Lembong at Asia Society Australia

Our Distinguished Fellow shares his insights on the trajectory of the Indonesian economy, the upcoming Indonesian elections, and the state of play with regional neighbours, assuring guests that regardless of political change and exchange Indonesia would remain open to trade and investment.
Thomas Lembong, the inaugural Asia Society Australia-Victoria Distinguished Fellow, receives extensive media coverage in the AFR, The Australian, SBS, and medianet.