Scott Morrison’s whirlwind trip to Indonesia is a “good thing”, his political opponent says, as Labor embraces bipartisan support for Australia’s latest free trade agreement.
Morrison travelled to Indonesia for Joko Widodo’s second inauguration as president, with talks between the two leaders planned at the presidential palace.
A top line discussion topic will be the Australia-Indonesia free trade agreement, which Australia moved one step closer to ratifying after Labor indicated its support, provided its list of concessions were met, despite trade union opposition to the agreement.
The trade minister, Simon Birmingham, told Guardian Australia he was confident tweaks could be made to accommodate some of Labor’s concerns.
Albanese said with Indonesia on track to become the world’s fourth biggest economy by 2050, it made sense for Australia to be at the front door, noting that Morrison was in Indonesia.
“That is a good thing,” he said on Sunday.
“It is important that we have a good relationship with our neighbour to the north in Indonesia. There are enormous economic advantages that we will have, as Indonesia grows, into the future.
“They are building a new capital city, all of that means jobs – for Australian infrastructure companies, for Australian steel, for Australian engineers, Australian architects, Australian planners, Australian legal officers and service deliverers. There is enormous opportunity as a result of this agreement, which will see – on the one hand 2% of Indonesian goods into Australia, goods and services, become tariff free, and in return, 25% of Australian goods and services into Indonesia, a growing market, will be tariff free.”