Today I welcome Indonesia’s Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati to Australia as Guest of Government. Her visit reflects the importance of our economic partnership and our broader bilateral relationship.
Indonesia is the largest economy in Southeast Asia, a top 20 global economy and, by some estimates, could be in the top five economies in the world by 2030. Minister Mulyani has been Finance Minister since July 2016, before which she was Managing Director of the World Bank. She was also Indonesia’s Finance Minister between 2005-2010.
I had the pleasure of meeting Minister Mulyani at the recent International Monetary Fund, World Bank and G20 meetings in Bali. It was the first time these annual meetings had been held in an emerging Asian economy since the Asian Financial Crisis in 1997-8 and the first time Indonesia had hosted them.
We discussed in Bali the importance of the open, stable, rules-based free trading system, which has underpinned strong economic growth for both our economies. Free trade means more jobs, more investment and more opportunities for Australia and Indonesia.
Trade agreements such as the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, ASEAN-Australia Free Trade Agreement and a future Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership play a key role in promoting open trade in our region.
As Treasurer, I look forward to further strengthening the economic ties between our two countries.
Today, Minister Mulyani and I will sign a memorandum of understanding between the Australian Treasury and Indonesia’s Ministry of Finance, which will strengthen policy and technical exchanges between our officials. This close and collaborative relationship, which is now more than a decade old, plays a particularly important role in our economic ties.
During our meeting, I also extended Australia’s condolences on the recent Lion Air accident, which included several Ministry of Finance officials among the victims.