Minister for Investment and Trade Martin Hamilton-Smith has arrived in Indonesia to build further discussions around the State Government’s in-country trade representation.
The delegation will also converge on Djakarta to support the Australia Indonesia Business Week, with Federal Government Trade Minister Andrew Robb.
The meetings in West Java are an opportunity to discuss the recent signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between the Government of South Australia and the Province of West Java.
The signing, which occurred during South Australia’s OzAsia Festival in September, focuses on business, education, agriculture, arts and culture and government-to-government knowledge exchange and capacity building.
Mr Hamilton-Smith said the South Australian Government wants to contribute to the rapid growth and development of West Java.
“South Australian product and service companies can contribute to the growing economy in West Java. Indonesia is emerging as a regional and global economy and provides us with an opportunity for mutual benefits across our key sectors,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
Indonesia is ASEAN’s largest economy and is forecast to emerge as one of the top 10 global economies between 2025 and 2030 by most transnational economics agencies.
Mr Hamilton-Smith will participate in a workshop that will further support development of the strategic partnership with West Java.
“We will discuss ways in which South Australia can contribute to Indonesia’s development, particularly in food security, including agribusiness services and technology and regulatory frameworks,” Mr Hamilton-Smith said.
“The delegation will also focus on how to grow key export sectors including infrastructure development, increasing regional aviation opportunities, health technologies and services, education and skills development and automotive and associated supply chains.”
Mr Hamilton-Smith said increasing the State’s presence in South East Asia will help strengthen cultural and trade links with the region.
The Indonesian market holds significant potential for South Australian businesses. Australian trade with Indonesia has been increasing over the past five years and was Australia’s eighth largest trading partner in 2014.
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.
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.
“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 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.”