Saturday, 23 August, 2008 | 08:46 WIB
TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Australian Agriculture, Fishery, and Forestry Minister, Tony Burke, said that Indonesia and Australia will benefit from the ASEAN- Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement.
"Whatever actions are taken for agricultural trade liberalization will help support the global food crisis," he said in a press release issued by the Australian Embassy yesterday.
Minister Burke met with Indonesian Agriculture Minister, Anton Apriyantono, Trade Minister, Mari Pangestu and Forestry Minister, M.S. Kaban during his visit.
"Australia acknowledges the challenges faced by Indonesian agricultural producers and will collaborate with our neighboring country in improving the agriculture sector," he said.
According to him, Australia is interested in investing in the agriculture sector in Indonesia. "Dr Pangestu and Dr Apriyantono told me that the agriculture sector is a high priority in Indonesia," he said.
For the next two days, Minister Burke will meet with Indonesian Marine and Fishery Minister, Freddy Numberi and Finance Minister and Coordinating Minister for the Economy, Sri Mulyani.
Yesterday Minister Burke visited a cattle fattening center which has 22.000 cattle imported from Darwin. Australia is Indonesia's primary cattle supplier, exporting more than 520.000 cattle worth of A$ 339 in 2007.
Burke will also visit Bogasari, a flour factory with a production capacity of 3.6 million tons per year. The company claims to be the world's biggest flour producer in one location.
This is an example of a processing and value adding of Australia's raw material by Indonesia, which shows collaboration between the agricultural sectors of both countries.
The Bogasari flour is widely used by the noodle, bread, and cake industries, as well as side products such as bran, pollards and industrial wheat used by the cooperatives, cattle food and wood industries. Bogasari also owns a pasta factory, having a production capacity of 60.000 tons per year, 80 percent of which are exported.
Australia is Indonesia's main wheat supplier, having exported 1.5 million tons in 2007.
Burke was accompanied by a delegation from the industries, including representatives from Meat and Livestock Australia, Cattle Council of Australia, Australian Livestock Exporters Council and Australian Citrus Growers.