News World Turnbull talks trade with Indonesia PM

Turnbull talks trade with Indonesia PM

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President Joko Widodo and his wife to have a 'private dinner' with PM Turnbull and his wife during a two-day visit. Photo: Greg Jennett/ABC
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Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull has held his first talks with Indonesia’s president Joko Widodo – the first of such talks in a year.

Mr Turnbull and his wife Lucy were greeted by president Jokowi and his wife, before the four of them sat on an open verandah and held a private chat for 15 minutes.

In formal talks, Mr Turnbull said the two leaders would look for ways to enhance trade and investment.

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“Trade, investment, economic growth, stronger economies – in both Indonesia and Australia for the benefit of both sides – is the focus of the discussions,” he told reporters.

There are now major new decisions to come from the meeting, but Australia will try to build on them with a major trade delegation coming to Indonesia next week.

Before Thursday, Mr Widodo had not held a face-to-face meeting with an Australian prime minister since “summit season” last year.

His intention, announced in late December 2014, to resume executions of drug traffickers on death row in Indonesia’s prisons plunged Australia-Indonesia relations into a spiral, which took months to arrest and then reverse, after the April shootings of the Bali Nine pair Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.

There are at least 12 billion reasons why the president and Mr Turnbull are now ready to put the relationship back on an even footing.

Australia is about to start a major push with Indonesia to expand its $12 billion annual trade and perhaps to add a new trade agreement (Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) to the list of completed bilateral trade deals.


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