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Forging links with Indonesia

STRENGTHENING commercial links was high on the agenda when Federal Trade Minister Mark Vaile met Indonesia’s Trade and Industry Minister Rini Soewandi in Melbourne recently for the fourth annual Australia-Indonesia trade ministers meeting.

Mr Vaile said high-level business missions from both countries were expected to meet later this year to explore further trade and commercial opportunities.

“The trade relationship between our countries is in very good shape, with two-way merchandise trade hitting a record high of $7.51 billion in 2002-03, despite the drought,” he said.

“The Indonesian economy is expected to grow strongly next year and new export opportunities are constantly emerging. While Australian exports to Indonesia have been affected by the drought, Australia has chalked up some notable successes since 2000-01, including increases of almost two thirds in medicaments exports and more than 50 per cent in meat exports.”

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