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Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement

This past month has seen the Australian Parliament’s House of Representatives pass IA-CEPA enabling legislation, with Federal Labor supporting the Agreement despite some widely-reported issues regarding Labour Market Testing and ISDS provisions of the Agreement.

Now it is hoped that the Australian Senate will follow suit during the final sitting weeks of the year, with the Agreement then only awaiting ratification from the Indonesian Parliament. Signs of this progressing smoothly before the end of the year are good with Indonesia’s newly appointed Trade Minister, Agus Suparmanto, meeting with Australia’s Trade Minister, Simon Birmingham, on the sidelines of the 35th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok recently, telling him that “he would intensify communication with the (Indonesian) House of Representatives to ensure that the ratification process is completed soon”.

As the ratification process continues, the AIBC has continued to work alongside DFAT and our IA-BPG partners in both countries, on the design of the “Indonesia-Australia Skills Development Exchange Pilot Project” and also the IA-CEPA Economic Cooperation Program. AIBC’s recent submission of the proposed ECP can be found here.

An important part of successful implementation of IA-CEPA, will be the ongoing role of AIBC and the IA-BPG in further jointly socialising the Agreement, promoting and monitoring its utilisation, and presenting further recommendations for improvement and expansion of the Agreement to Government. The early work of the IA-BPG over many years has been recognised as being instrumental to IA-CEPA reaching the point it has, and the ongoing role it has to play was a recurring theme at the recent IABC Conference in Bali. This Conference presented the ideal opportunity for IA-BPG Members to meet, recommit to joint efforts in support of IA-CEPA, and advocate for the ongoing support for IA-BPG by our respective Goverments.


IABC News , October 2019