Media Release

Joint Declaration a decisive step towards closer Indonesia-Australia ties

7 August 2014

Australian Agriculture Minister Barnaby Joyce and Chairman of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board Mr Mahendra Siregar today signed a historic Joint Declaration to formalise terms of reference for the Indonesia-Australia Partnership on Food Security in the Red Meat and Cattle Sector.

Minister Joyce said that the Declaration defines collaborative goals for members of the Indonesia-Australia Partnership as they work to strengthen bilateral business, investment and trade ties across the red meat and cattle sector.

"This is a very important milestone in the development of a genuine long-term agricultural partnership with one of our closest regional friends and trading partners," Minister Joyce said.

"This government is committed to realising the full potential of our relationship with Indonesia. And we’re determined to get it right.

"Economic benefits will flow to both our countries from a real partnership based on sharing knowledge and helping each other improve to maximise our respective potentials.

"That's what this partnership is designed to do, and we’re already seeing real returns for both countries."

Minister Joyce said that agricultural trade with Indonesia – our third largest agricultural export market – had already increased 13 per cent year-on-year since the September 2013 Australian federal election.

"Through trade, by providing safe, quality food at affordable prices, our red meat and cattle industries are already playing an important role in contributing to food security for Indonesians. What we now want to do is take this to the next stage. A stronger commercial and investment relationship can only benefit both countries," Minister Joyce said.

"Australia understands that Indonesia, like Australia, wants to ensure that its agriculture sector and its farmers are profitable and prosperous. The red meat and cattle sector is an important part of both our agriculture sectors.

"If this Partnership on Food Security in the Red Meat and Cattle Sector is able to set the right tone for the future agricultural relationship between our two countries, then the future is looking very bright indeed," Minister Joyce said.

The Joint Declaration was signed at the second meeting of the Partnership in Brisbane today, where the group began looking at further initiatives to improve the ways that Indonesia and Australia work together.

The Australian government has funded a 10-year, $60 million assistance package to kick start priority investment and cooperation activities identified by the Partnership.