Australian PM confirms Indonesia visit

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            CANBERRA, :Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese  has confirmed he will travel to Indonesia on Sunday in a bid to boost  relationship between the two nations.

Albanese, whose Labor Party won power in the general election on May 21, will on Sunday travel to Indonesia with Foreign Minister Penny Wong, Trade Minister Don Farrell and Industry Minister Ed Husic for the Annual Leaders’ Meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.

The three-day trip will focus mostly on economic relationship between the two countries, which stalled during the coronavirus pandemic after the landmark Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) was ratified early in 2020.

In the lead-up to the election, Albanese promised a Labor government would make the relationship with Indonesia a foreign policy priority.

“Indonesia is one of our closest neighbors, which is why I committed to visiting as soon as possible,” he said in a statement on Friday.

“During my visit, I look forward to building our ties further, including to revitalize our trade relationship and promote climate, infrastructure and energy cooperation.”

The IA-CEPA eliminates or cuts tariffs on 99 percent of Australian exports to Indonesia and made it easier for young Indonesians to work and study in Australia.

However, the strict COVID-19 border restrictions that were introduced shortly after the trade deal was ratified significantly reduced its impact.

Albanese will also meet with Dato Lim Jock Hoi, secretary-general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN)