​Media Release

Indonesia and Australia strengthen water ties​

Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, Barnaby Joyce
Indonesian Minister of National Development Planning, Professor Bambang Brodjonegoro 


22 September 2017​

  • Australia and Indonesia today signed a landmark MoU to embark on enhanced cooperation on water resource management and agricultural planning
  • Better management of water resources is vital for both Australia and Indonesia, for improving both community water security and agricultural production

​Australia and Indonesia strengthened an increasingly important trade and investment relationship today with the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) committing to stronger cooperation across water resource management and agricultural development.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources, the Hon Barnaby Joyce MP, and Indonesian Minister of National Development Planning, Professor Bambang Brodjonegoro , said the agreement reflected a growing understanding of the critical role that sound water management would play in the future of both nations.

"If Australia and Indonesia are to reach their full potential for productive economic and agricultural growth, it is vital that we work together to ensure regional prosperity," Minister Joyce said.

"Improving our shared understanding of water resources and managing them sustainably and with long-term vision will be essential to that prosperity.

"Today's agreement recognises that despite vast differences in geography and population, Indonesia and Australia share many of the same challenges—not least the ever-increasing demands placed on limited supplies of water."

Minister Bambang said the MoU included shared commitments to information and data exchange; science and technology exchanges; education, training and knowledge sharing activities; and joint studies on policies, programs and regulations.

"Through this MoU we will be cooperating to better manage catchment systems, develop efficient agricultural irrigation and assist with the provision of clean, safe and reliable water supplies for communities, industry and the environment," Minister Bambang said.

"It's a key part of the fundamental commitment the Australian and Indonesian governments are making to individual famers, to rural communities and to the security of our nations through better water management."

The MoU was signed by Minister Joyce and Minister Bambang in Perth, Australia today.

Fast facts

  • Australia's two-way agricultural trade with Indonesia has grown to around $4 billion (AFY2016-17).
  • Today's MoU reflects the expanding relationship between Australia and Indonesia in agriculture, set to flourish further under the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) currently under negotiation.
  • As a mark of progress in these negotiations, Indonesia is set to lower the tariff on Australian sugar exports, and Australia will eliminate the tariff on herbicides and pesticides from Indonesia. 
  • This MoU with Indonesia is the fourth such agreement by Australia for water cooperation with a major trading partner, in addition to those Australia  has  with India, the US and China.