The Jakarta Post
The Australian government will open a consulate general in Makassar, South Sulawesi, in March next year to strengthen cooperation and business ties between the two parties, Australian Ambassador to Indonesia Paul Grigson said on Wednesday.
Grigson said during a meeting with South Sulawesi Governor Syahrul Yasin Limpo that the opening of the consulate general would honor the strong ties and history between the two regions.
Grigson went on to say that in the past the people of Makassar had traded with Aborigines of Arnhem Land in Australia's Northern Territory from the 1700s.
Syahrul welcomed the plan and promised to support the consulate general, saying South Sulawesi was a strategic hub in the eastern part of Indonesia.
"South Sulawesi is in synergy with 12 provinces in eastern Indonesia and Makassar is a hub in the eastern part of the country," he said.
Grigson, who was on his first working visit to Makassar, said the consulate general would have three priority areas, namely trade, education and cultural sectors.
In trade, the office will strive to strengthen commercial relations between Australia and South Sulawesi traders and increase two-way investment and exports and imports. South Sulawesi buys wheat from Australia to process locally.
Grigson added that the consulate general would concentrate on other commodities besides agricultural products like rice, cocoa and seaweed, which are South Sulawesi's main commodities.
The office will also focus on the education sector as many Makassar students study in Australia. He also said Australian students would be encouraged to study in Makassar, in particular at Hasanuddin University.
Grigson said that he would invite Australian investors to invest in the province's tourism as it had plenty of potential and destinations. (rin)(+)