The South Australian Government will embark on its first trade mission to Indonesia since the execution of Australians Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran.
Following the Federal Government’s decision to withdraw its Ambassador to Indonesia in April this year in protest, ministerial engagements between the nations stopped for months before beginning again in August.
Today Minister for Investment and Trade Martin Hamilton-Smith said he is looking forward to strengthening economic relationships with Indonesia once again.
“The Indonesian market holds significant potential for South Australian businesses; nationally it is our 12th largest export market, worth $15.6 billion in 2014,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“The South Australian delegation will visit Bandung next week to advance a Memorandum of Understanding signed with West Java during the OzAsia Festival this year.
“A Joint Working Group will also focus on how to grow key export sectors including agriculture and fisheries, tourism, art, culture, education and health services.”
Mr Hamilton-Smith will witness the signing of a Strategic Partnership between Indonesia’s State Owned Enterprise PT Pindad and SA’s Defence Teaming Centre on a joint venture to design, manufacture and maintain armoured and specialised mining vehicles.
The delegation will then converge on Djakarta to support the Australia Indonesia Business Week, with Federal Government Trade Minister Andrew Robb.
Mr Hamilton-Smith said South Australia has always been an economy that has succeeded when it faced outwards, and embraced opportunity from abroad.
“We can rest on our laurels, and be the world’s farm, mine and tourist destination; or we can engage international consumers and investors, add value to our products and services, and compete in high margin niche premium markets,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“In many areas of the economy, we are already generating globally competitive products and services. My challenge as Minister for Investment and Trade is to bring that to the global market.
“Investors, business and government are desperately looking for growth. That will emerge by tapping into growth markets, especially our Asian neighbours.
“This month the Government released research that demonstrated upwards of 65,000 South Australian jobs are linked to international exports.
“We know that these jobs are spread right across the economy through all sectors. Our research showed export jobs are not just limited to our traditional export sectors, like agriculture or mining. Services, health care, communications, transport are all major beneficiaries of exports.
“We need to ensure that this continues to grow. If we can grow this sector of the economy by just 10%, that is 6500 jobs. That sort of jobs growth would lower the unemployment rate by about 1.4%, bringing it into line with the rest of the Australian economy.”
“The State Government has strengthened its international engagement strategy with a new trade mission blueprint to assist businesses to increase exports and create jobs.
“Program highlights include missions to China; India and South East Asia including Indonesia; the United States of America; Europe and the United Kingdom; the Middle East and North Africa; Japan and South Korea.
“The new international mission blueprint will set a pattern for future years and will give small to medium enterprises certainty as they structure their own international engagement programs.
“More and more South Australian businesses are looking beyond their existing domestic markets, selling premium products and services to the world,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“There is massive potential to benefit from the recently signed Trans Pacific Partnership Trade Agreement, China-Australia Free Trade Agreement, Japan-Australia Economic Partnership Agreement and Korea-Australia Free Trade Agreement.
“These agreements have cleared the path for South Australian industry to expand internationally and will further integrate South Australia into the fast growing regions of the world by removing barriers to trade and investment.
“There has also been significant interest from South Australian businesses in the State Government’s Export Partnership Program which provides 50:50 funding up to $50,000 to assist companies to boost exports to international markets.
“State Government TradeStart advisers are also available to support current and aspiring exporters to strategically engage with international markets.”
“The State Government recognises that South Australia’s ongoing prosperity depends on our trade and investment in growing international markets.
“South Australia has sent a strong signal that it is serious about doing business across all international sectors.”
For more information visit: www.statedevelopment.sa.gov.au/businessmissions