Austrade and a number of our partners have developed practical guidelines for Australian companies on key sectoral opportunities in Indonesia under the AI-CEPA. Check this section from time to time to see the latest information. Mr Varma said: “The AI-CEPA is a pioneering trade agreement between Australia and Indonesia, which clearly demonstrates the intention of both countries to deepen our economic relations. We believe that the entry into force of the AI-CEPA will generate increased interest in foreign investment from Australia to Indonesia, particularly in our key areas of infrastructure and energy, by reducing ownership restrictions and other barriers to market entry. This is an exciting step in the relationship with one of our closest and most important trading partners. Six rounds of negotiations between the two countries have taken place until February 2017 and both Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) have pledged to end talks by the end of the year in March 2017.  Negotiations under way during the year did not conclude the agreement until the end of 2017, which was 10 cycles until November.  In March 2018, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi acknowledged that negotiators were still trying to resolve some of the issues and postponed the deadline until the end of 2018.  Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita wanted to sign the agreement in April 2018.  Australia is an open economy that relies heavily on trade.
It has escaped protectionism for decades. It is already a member of multilateral trade agreements such as the ASEAN AANZFTA and the 11-member CPTPP. Australia now accounts for almost 80% of its exports, which are covered by trade agreements. The state of their bilateral economic relations makes the agreement a step forward. For two economies close to the G20, their trade and investment relations are surprisingly weak. No two G20 countries do as little as Australia and Indonesia without a sanctions regime. Indonesia`s share of Australia`s total trade has stagnated by about 2% over the past two decades, while Australia`s overall trade with Asia has increased.