IA-CEPA: A chance to be bold

The economic agreement between Indonesia and Australia represents a step-change in the bilateral relationship which encourages us to think bigger and find new ways to create an enduring and trusted connection between the two nations.

The Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) is more than a trade agreement, and it will take work to realise its full potential.

The Australia-Indonesia Centre is committed to this work, to support a broader relationship of meaningful collaboration between government, business and research. With our work across 11 universities we have already established strong bilateral links that can lead to change – researchers working together to tackle on-the-ground community challenges; alumni networks that assist each other to find solutions.

The AIC demand-driven, interdisciplinary research model creates a channel for collaboration and engagement between the two countries. We are making an impact in fields such as food, logistics, energy, digital skills and services, working with people who are committed to finding solutions through science, technology and innovation.

We are excited about the benefits of IA-CEPA and to being a part of the change.

Dr Eugene Sebastian
AIC Executive Director


IA-CEPA’s impact

What’s the point? Industry leaders have their say.


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“In particular domains like infrastructure, sustainable development, the shift of energy into rural environments. Australia’s technical skills in that arena coupled to Indonesia’s knowledge of how to apply that in the field could readily be taken into other parts of the world.”

Professor Abid Khan
Deputy Vice Chancellor and Vice President (Global Engagement)
Monash University


“Our two countries have a long standing history of partnership in education, agriculture, and mining. The future of our bilateral relationship should be defined by working together in the industries of the future, driven by pioneering entrepreneurs.

IA-CEPA should be seen as a starting platform for digital entrepreneurs and investors from Australia and Indonesia alike to invest in one another and to look for solutions in each other.”

Andy Zain
Founder & Managing Partner
Kejora Ventures


“Developed countries like Australia…are now thinking about how to develop agriculture with modern (industry 4.0) technology,” Dr Satria said in a boardroom dialogue.

“We are now in the same position, but we realise that Australia is a step ahead from Indonesia. Australia (can be) our strategic partner in trying to develop smart farming systems in Indonesia.”

Dr Arif Satria
IPB University


“This is the most comprehensive bilateral trade agreement Indonesia has ever signed, and will give our exporters a competitive edge in what is one of the fastest growing economies in the world,” Senator Birmingham said in a press release.

“With one in five jobs trade related, enhancing opportunities for our exporters, with key trading partners such as Indonesia will be crucial to reducing job losses arising from the COVID-19 pandemic and a critical part of our ultimate economic recovery.”

Senator the Hon Simon Birmingham
Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment
Australian Government



“This Agreement though serves not only as a practical set of initiatives to improve on this, across a wide variety of sectors, but also as a great head-turner to the opportunities on offer, just as global supply chains have been drastically impacted, and relations with other major trading partners are strained.”

Phil Turtle
Australia Indonesia Business Council


“For those involved in the Australia-Indonesia space, your Indonesian and Australian skills will be crucial in ensuring the relationship is maintained not only so that this economic agreement is taken of advantage of to its fullest extent but so that Australians and Indonesians continue to connect, inform and inspire one another,” Campbell wrote on the AIYA website.

Clarice Campbell
National President
Australia-Indonesia Youth Association (AIYA)

“President Jokowi has said that by 2030, he wants 58 million people upskilled. And that’s a lot of people in a relatively short amount of time. What they’re doing is actually putting money towards it.

“People have to be willing to be prepared to put in the hard yards with building relationships… The length of time is a vital part of your strategy. So you need to put your toe in the water and then build on that over the years.”

Janelle Chapman
Executive Director
TAFE Queensland