August 30, 2018
Aussie PM expected to ink free trade deal with Indonesia during visit
Newly seated Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison hopes to ink a free trade agreement with Indonesia when he visits Southeast Asia's largest economy on Friday, Aug. 31.
The FTA is of utmost importance to Australia's agricultural sector, with wheat constituting half of Australia's agri exports to Indonesia.
According to a report by ABC, pressure was mounting on Morrison to secure the trade deal with Indonesia as grain growers foresee exports to expand even more under an FTA.
For example, Australia and China signed an FTA in December 2015 and agricultural exports rose 10% or more than A$1 billion (US$728.91 million) in the following financial year, according to the ABC report.
"For the grains sector, this is probably the most significant one we've had for quite some time," Andrew Weidemann, a grain grower from western Victoria, was quoted as saying in a report by ABC.
Australia's other top agricultural exports to Indonesia include live animals and beef, aside from sugar and cotton.
ABC said that if signed, this would be the fourth Asian trade deal secured by the Coalition Government, following agreements with South Korea, Japan and China.
It would be Indonesia's first free trade deal in almost a decade.