The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo received Australia's new prime minister, Scott Morrison, at Bogor Palace on Friday. The two leaders are expected to discuss economic partnership and other bilateral issues.
Morrison was welcomed by Jokowi himself in a welcome ceremony, during which he even took time to say hello and high-five children wearing traditional attire who greeted him at the palace.
It marks Morrison's first overseas visit since he was inaugurated on Aug. 24 as the new prime minister by his fellow Liberal Party members following an internal party coup in a stunning upset over key challenger Peter Dutton.
Following the ceremony, Morrison and Jokowi held a tete-a-tete meeting at the palace's veranda, after which they joined the two countries' high-level delegations for bilateral talks.
The Foreign Ministry's East Asia and Pacific director, Edi Yusup, previously said Jokowi’s meeting with Morrison would likely result in the finalization of two partnerships on the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) free trade agreement and the Strategic Comprehensive Partnership.
It is also expected that Jokowi and Morrison will witness the signing of three memorandums of understanding on transportation, the creative economy and cybersecurity.
Australia is one of Indonesia’s most important trading partners, with Australia enjoying a surplus, according to Trade Ministry data.
The data shows a slight decline of 4.11 percent in trade transactions from 2013 to 2017.
In the first half of this year, total trade between the two countries reached US$4.06 billion, with Indonesia incurring a deficit of $1.37 billion, a figure expected to increase by 18 percent to $1.67 billion for the full year of 2017. (ahw)