Tue, 08 Mar 2011


By Renne R.A Kawilarang
VIVAnews - Indonesia is the largest market for several Australian agricultural and dairy products. In order to extend the bilateral trade, the Australian Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry, Senator Joe Ludwig, is visiting Indonesia today.

According to the Australian Embassy in Jakarta, the visit will include meetings with key Indonesian political, agriculture, forestry and marine representatives.

“Indonesia is an important trading partner for Australia, and our fourth largest agricultural market,” Minister Ludwig said in his written statement to VIVAnews prior to his flight to Jakarta this morning.

He pointed out that in 2010, Australia exported $2 billion worth of agricultural products to Indonesia. Indonesia is our largest wheat, live cattle and potato market, and a major market for sugar and dairy, said Ludwig.

In Jakarta, he was scheduled to meet with several Indonesian top officials - such as Agriculture Minister Suswono, Forestry Minister Zulkifli Hasan, Marine Affairs and Fisheries Minister Fadel Muhammad.

Senator Ludwig will also be canvassing issues of mutual interest including food security, market access for boxed beef and live cattle, illegal logging and fishing and the Emerging Infectious Diseases program.

Later in the week, he will travel to Bali to co-chair a session at a Ministerial Conference hosted by Indonesia to coincide with the Fourth Session of the Governing Body of the International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture.

Members of the Treaty have developed a benefit sharing fund which invests in high-impact projects addressing food security, adaptation to climate change and agricultural biodiversity. Australia contributed $1 million to this fund in 2010.