Tue, 29 Mar 2011

As part of its commitment to its comprehensive economic partnership with Indonesia, Australia is set to share its expertise in the mining sector during the two-day Ozmine conference, which starts on Tuesday.

The neighboring countries are in the beginning of negotiations for a comprehensive economic partnership, called the Indonesia Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, in which technological transfers and knowledge-sharing are part of Australia’s commitment to aiding Indonesia’s development.

“This is the manifestation of the importance of the relationship between our two countries and the importance of this sector to our countries,” said Leith Doody, the Australian Trade Commission’s regional director of trade and investment for Asean.

Indonesia is the largest exporter of thermal coal in the world and the second-largest coal exporter after Australia.

The commission projects Indonesia’s coal production will reach 320 million tons per year in 2020. The government has targeted 275 million tons of coal production this year.

“The mining sector is important to both Indonesia and Australia. It attracts foreign and bilateral investment and it employs large sections of the community,” Paul Robilliard, Australia’s charge d’affaires in Indonesia, said during a news conference last week to promote the conference.

The event, which takes place at the Shangri-La Hotel in Jakarta, consists of conferences and exhibitions that, according to Robilliard, will include upwards of 100 Australian companies that work in the mining industry.

It will cover the latest mining technology, equipment, services and financing, Doody said.

Paul Martins, the commission’s Asean mining team leader and senior trade and investment commissioner, said Australia’s innovation allowed it to be among the world’s top mineral exporters even with higher labor and production costs. “Australia excels in mining technology. Over 60 percent of the world’s mines uses Australian software,” he said.

In addition to Australian companies, Indonesian firms Freeport, Newmont Nusa Tenggara and Adaro are set to take part.