Trade Commission Established with Indonesia

  • Don McKinnon
Foreign Affairs

New Zealand and Indonesia launched an important new economic, trade and investment initiative in Jakarta yesterday.

At a joint signing ceremony Foreign Minister Don McKinnon and Indonesian Foreign Minister Ali Alatas established an Indonesian/New Zealand Joint Commission on Economic and Trade Relations.

The Commission was originally agreed to by President Soeharto and Prime Minister Jim Bolger during the Prime Ministers visit to Indonesia.

With two way trade between our two countries now over $500 million a year, Indonesia is a significant partner, both in its own right and within the region, Mr McKinnon said.

We therefore need to sit down on a regular basis and swap notes on where we are heading, what our respective priorities are and what obstacles, if any, we see in the economic relationship.

Recently New Zealand investment in Indonesia has increased, as have tourism and educational links. Over 14 000 Indonesians travel to New Zealand for holidays and business every year and at least 1400 Indonesian students are studying in New Zealand.

New Zealand and Indonesia are both active participants in the World Trade Organisation and APEC and the Commission will be an excellent forum for us to talk more often, at senior level, about how best we can contribute to these wider processes, Mr McKinnon said.