RBA expected to raise rates due to inflation; Commonwealth and States meet over gas crisis; Albanians visit Indonesia
Prime Minister Anthony Albanese kicked off his first full day in Jakarta by hosting a business breakfast with a high-level delegation of Australian business leaders.
Albanese has a full schedule over the next two days in Indonesia – next he’ll head to the presidential palace in Bogor, which is set in a beautiful tropical park about an hour from central Jakarta (depending on the capital’s mind-numbing traffic) .
He will meet President Joko Widodo (everyone calls him President Jokowi) and once the new Prime Minister has been officially welcomed, the duo will begin their annual leaders’ meeting, issue a joint statement, and then hold a state luncheon.
In the middle of the afternoon (around 6 p.m. on the east coast of Australia), the couple will hold a press conference where bilateral relations, the new free trade agreement, the rise of China and the Vladmir Putin’s participation in the next G20 in Bali will probably be topics asked about.
Foreign Minister Penny Wong has already met her counterpart, Retno Marsudi, and said after the meeting that Indonesia was a very important partner for Australia.
Wong said Retno understood – as did countries in the region – that China’s rise was reshaping Southeast Asia.
“What is important is that countries work together so that [the] the region remains peaceful, prosperous and respectful of sovereignty,” she said.
“Indonesia is a very important partner for Australia, it is a very important neighbour, and it is a country that will continue to develop and will continue to be of crucial importance for the security of the region. “
Wong pointed to the presence of Albanese herself, Trade Minister Don Farrell and Industry and Science Minister Ed Husic as well as the presence of the trade delegation as proof of the seriousness with which the Australian side takes the visit.
The high-level business delegation includes Business Council chief executive Jennifer Westacott and global engagement committee chair Warwick Smith, Commonwealth Bank boss Matt Comyn, Telstra’s Andy Penn, Wesfarmers Rob Scott, the Vice President of Fortescue Metal, Mark Barnaba, General Manager of Bluescope, Mark Vassella, and Sun Cable. David Griffin.
Monash University Vice-Chancellor Margaret Gardener, who told the Sydney Morning Herald and age that the visa system between the two countries needs fixing, is also on a trip, after Monash opened the first-ever foreign university on Indonesian soil late last year.