On 6 July 2021, the Australian Treasurer, the Hon. Josh Frydenberg MP, and the Australian Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister the Hon. Dan Tehan MP met virtually with the Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, H.E Airlangga Hartarto, Indonesian Minister of Finance, H.E. Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Indonesian Minister for Trade, H.E Muhammad Lutfi, Indonesian Minister of National Development Planning, H.E. Suharso Monoarfa, and Indonesian Deputy Minister for Investment Cooperation, Dr Riyatno, for the inaugural Indonesia-Australia Economic, Trade and Investment Ministers’ Meeting.
- Ministers determined to enhance efforts to address the unprecedented economic challenges posed by the COVID‑19 pandemic. Ministers acknowledged that equitable access to safe and effective vaccines was critical to rebuilding economies across the Indo‑Pacific. Ministers agreed uneven vaccine access and new virus variants risked delaying recovery.
- Ministers discussed the importance of inclusiveness in COVID‑19 policy responses and recovery, including supporting those most affected by COVID‑19 like the poor and vulnerable, including youth and women, who are most at risk of falling behind on education, employment, mental health and disposable income.
- Ministers recognised high levels of public debt loom large for many countries around the world, particularly for emerging and developing countries. They agreed that early withdrawal of government support and premature fiscal consolidation risked weakening recovery efforts.
- Ministers underlined the importance of deepening collaboration in regional and global economic forums and looked forward to Indonesia’s G20 Presidency in 2022. Therefore, Ministers appreciated the Indonesia‑Australia G20 Cooperation Kick‑off Workshop organised in March 2021. Ministers discussed the important role of quality infrastructure investment in driving a sustainable and inclusive economic recovery. This topic would be further discussed in Indonesia’s G20 Presidency.
- Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to an open, rules-based multilateral trading system centred on the World Trade Organization (WTO) and agreed to support reforms that served the interests of all WTO Members. Ministers reaffirmed their commitment to ratifying the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (RCEP), the world’s largest free trade agreement, and looked forward to its entry into force. Ministers also confirmed their commitment to upgrade the Agreement on the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Area (AANZFTA).
- Ministers agreed to redouble efforts to further strengthen economic ties, recognising that the entry into force of the Indonesia‑Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement one year ago had enhanced trade and investment opportunities for Australian and Indonesian businesses. Ministers agreed that deepening trade and investment was important to support mutual economic recovery.
- Ministers noted the ongoing significant impact of the pandemic on international travel and committed to remaining closely engaged on opportunities to support the important people‑to‑people links between the two countries and to recommence travel for tourism and education when circumstances permitted.
- Ministers acknowledged the value of ongoing dialogue between the two strategic partners in pursuing an open, inclusive and prosperous Indo‑Pacific Region. They reaffirmed their commitment to holding the Economic, Trade and Investment Ministers’ Meeting on an annual basis in line with the Indonesia‑Australia 2020 Joint Leaders Statement.
- Ministers launched the Economic Cooperation Program of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, branded as IA‑CEPA ECP “Katalis”, or “Katalis”, noting the subsidiary arrangement of the program was signed on June 25th 2021. The ministers urge all related parties to participate in the program and contribute to the inclusive, sustainable and green economic growth, two‑way trade, investment, and sustainable development of both countries.