Talking trade on Indonesian visit

South Metropolitan Region MLC Phil Edman and Agricultural Region MLC Brian Ellis with Jakarta trade office staff.
South Metropolitan Region MLC Phil Edman and Agricultural Region MLC Brian Ellis with Jakarta trade office staff.

A Parliamentary delegation, including South Metropolitan Region MLC Phil Edman, Premier Colin Barnett and Agricultural Region MLC Brian Ellis, visited Jakarta to improve trade between Australia and Indonesia.

The group visited the WA trade and investment office in Jakarta.

Indonesia is WA’s closest proximity trade partner and has a population of 250 million.

In 2014-15 Western Australia’s exports to Indonesia were valued at $1.6 billion, with the majority of exports being agricultural products such as wheat and live animals.

“Indonesia is an incredibly important trade partner and it is brimming with opportunities to increase partnerships in the areas of education, agriculture and tourism, which are all expanding markets as Indonesia’s middle class continues to grow,” Mr Edman said.

Jakarta is also the focal point of communications between the 10 Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), including Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia.

Along with fellow Upper House MLC Nigel Hallett, Mr Edman and Mr Ellis were successful in advocating for the Western Australian trade and investment office to stay open last year.

The State Government adopted an expanded trade and investment office model in January, with the addition of agriculture and tourism officers.

“Thriving industry and investment are crucial to the economic sustainability of our State,” Mr Edman said. “This visit is a strong gesture that we value trade ties with Indonesia and want to strengthen them.”