The Jakarta Post
The Australian government has opened a consulate general in Surabaya, East Java, it was announced over the weekend.
This marks Australia’s fourth post in Indonesia, besides Jakarta, Bali and Makassar in South Sulawesi.
"This new post is part of the Australian government's commitment to expand our diplomatic network," Australian Foreign Affairs Minister Julie Bishop said in a statement on Sunday.
She said the new facility was the country’s single-largest overseas expansion in more than 40 years.
The consulate general will concentrate on enhancing trade and building economic partnership opportunities in East Java, including in financial services, education, health, manufacturing and infrastructure, Bishop explained.
It will also support cultural and community links with Central and East Java, as well as provide consular and other services to Australian nationals.
"Surabaya, Indonesia's second-largest city, was an increasingly important destination for Australian trade and investment," she said, adding that East Java accounted for roughly 15 percent of Indonesia’s gross domestic product (GDP).
Surabaya, located on the northern coast of the province, is a crucial port especially for eastern Indonesia.
Chris Barnes, the first Australian consul general to Surabaya, was appointed to his post in August last year. (stu)