Indonesian President Joko Widodo (R) and Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. (Source: jakartapost)
 
Hanoi (VNA) – Indonesia and Australia have vowed to promote free trade and closer maritime cooperation.
 
The commitment was made during the official visit of Indonesian President Joko Widodo to Australia, the first since he took office.
 

At the talk between President Widodo and host Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, the two leaders agreed to complete the bilateral free trade deal this year.

Prime Minister Turnbull said afterwards that Indonesia pledged to lower tariff on sugar imported from Australia and loosen limits for imports of animal husbandry products from this country, adding that in exchange, Australia will lift all import taxes for pesticides and herbicides from Indonesia.

The two leaders also witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding on maritime cooperation, including maritime security enhancement, border protection and crime fight.

Besides, the Australian Prime Minister announced that the leaders also agreed to restore all defence cooperation activities between Australia and Indonesia. The Consulate General of Australia will be opened in Surabaya city of Indonesia, while many Indonesian language facilities will operate in Australia’s cities of Sydney, Brisbane and Darwin.

In January, tension sparked between two countries due to the discovery of offensive materials toward Indonesia’s army in a military base in Perth, Western Australia. Initially, Indonesia announced to suspend all defence cooperation with Australia and then affirmed the suspension was only applied for activities in the joint language training programme.-VNA