Australian Services Roundtable’s Visit to Indonesia Services Dialogue

Jakarta, 18 March 2016

Australian Services Roundtable’s Visit to Indonesia Services Dialogue

Jakarta, March 18th 2016. Indonesia Services Dialogue (ISD) welcomes its special guests, Australian Services Roundtable (ASR) and Australian business delegates, to discuss about potential cooperation in the future. Accompanied by Shannon Leahy, Trade Commissioner, Australian Trade Commission, ASR’s visit to ISD is the first time since both coalitions signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) about the formation of the Asia-Pacific Services Coalition last September 2015 in Cebu, the Philippines.

In a developed country like Australia, services sectors’ contribution to the economy is significant. Around 80% of Australia’s economy are built upon services. Overall, it employs four out of five Australian. In this sense, the presence of ASR finds its relevance.

“Currently, Australian Services Roundtable has 22 members. Some of them are eBay, Export Incentives, The University of Adelaide, Peter Strohkorb Consulting, Barton Deakin, and Norton Rose Fulbright. Strengthening membership is one of the ASR’s main goals,” said Alina Bain, CEO Australian Services Roundtable (ASR), in her welcoming words.

In terms of partnership with the Government, Alina Bain mentions that ASR has been influencing the Government in many ways. ASR plays critical role in trade negotiation, providing cross-border data, cross-cultural training and business opportunities, promoting innovation, Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) and IT skills, securing jobs of the future as well as empowering women in the workforce.

“When I met Pak Thomas Lembong (Minister of Trade RI), I sensed an optimism in services. I agree with the Minister that services sectors will become the future of our economy,” uttered Alina Bain.

In response to Alina’s statement, Taufikurrahman, ISD Executive Director, underlines that harmonization of policy and regulation is key to create a friendly environment for services to grow.

“We cannot close our eyes from ongoing trend, especially for developed countries, that services sectors have more impact than manufacturing, be it in GDP, foreign investment or job creation. In policy level, the most important thing is how to connect trade policy and trade negotiation,” concluded Taufikurrahman.

On her comment about further cooperation between Indonesia and Australia, Herliza, Director, Directorate of Trade in Services Negotiations, Ministry of Trade RI, emphasizes education as the primary and most fundamental sector.

“I think Indonesia and Australia need to have cooperation in education sector, especially in a more technical and vocational sector. This might expand Australian educational institution while developing Indonesian human resources. The approach should be reciprocal,” said Herliza.

Participants of this forum come from various backgrounds. From Australian side, representatives from ASR, Australian Trade Commission (Austrade), New South Wales International Trade & Investment, Australian Business Volunteers, AFG Venture Group, Cardno, Geotron Engineering Consultants, and Castalia Strategic Advisors present their views about current challenges and opportunities in Australian economy. From Indonesian side, ISD members from PT. HM Sampoerna Tbk., Bahar & Partners, and MAERSK Indonesia, and other companies such as aCommerce Indonesia and Ernst & Young, also exchange ideas and involve in the warm networking session.

At the end of the visit, ASR and ISD agree to draft the Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to improve their cooperation in many aspects. The signing of the MoU is planned to be held on April 12th 2016 at the International Services Summit 2016.