Australian Economy

Anthony Albanese looks to Indonesia, India to diversify economy away from China

He noted Indonesia was 13th on the list of Australia’s trading partners, saying it should be “much higher”. “Common sense tells you that should be the case.”

China has levelled punitive tariffs and de facto bans on about $20 billion of Australian goods including beef, barley, wine, coal and even lobsters in recent years.

The prime minister said those trade sanctions were “unjust and should be removed”.

He said his visit to Makassar was a signal his government was taking the relationship with Indonesia seriously, as was the business community.

“I think for a lot of Indonesians, they know that Australia knows about Jakarta and knows about Bali. What they want is an Australian government that understands this vast archipelago and this vast nation.”

At the business dinner on Monday evening, CBA chief executive Matt Comyn said the lending institution, which has had a presence in Indonesia for 25 years, wanted to support Australian businesses looking to develop closer economic ties with Indonesia.

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“It’s a very large market, it’s a huge population with a good growth profile and for Australian business, it’s definitely a market they should be considering,” he said.

Wesfarmers boss Rob Scott, also part of the delegation, said the company had multiple relationships in Indonesia as it worked to diversify the sourcing of products for its businesses including Kmart and Target.

“Indonesia is becoming an important market,” he said.

Husic, who joined Albanese on the trip, was applauded by the students as the prime minister said his Industry Minister and Aly had support across the Australian community.

“I take this as really heartening confirmation that we are maturing as a nation,” Albanese said.

Cut through the noise of federal politics with news, views and expert analysis from Jacqueline Maley. Subscribers can sign up to our weekly Inside Politics newsletter here.

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