Sunday, March 5, 2017

1) Indonesia pushes for Australia to import more palm oil and paper

2) Turnbull heading to Indonesia
3) AWPA calls on Turnbull to raise West Papua rights violations with Jakarta
1) Indonesia pushes for Australia to import more palm oil and paper
Jewel Topsfield  Jewel Topsfield
Jakarta: One of Indonesia's top trade officials has questioned whether "artificial" trade barriers are preventing Australia importing more palm oil, pulp and paper and wood products as the two countries negotiate a free trade deal to be concluded this year.
In an exclusive interview with Fairfax Media ahead of this week's Australian trade mission to Indonesia, Thomas Lembong said President Joko Widodo had been "revolutionary" in changing Indonesia's historical mindset of "insecurity and fear of globalisation".
However, Mr Lembong, the chairman of Indonesia's Investment Co-ordinating board, said Indonesia had to acknowledge that its regulations – which "change very frequently and often with no prior notice" – were a big obstacle to investment and a big source of complaints for foreign and domestic investors.
During his visit to Australia last month, President Jokowi, as he is popularly known, said he had conveyed to Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull some of the key issues in the free trade deal. The first was the removal of trade barriers – both tariffs and non-tariffs – for Indonesian products such as paper and palm oil.

2) Turnbull heading to Indonesia
Updated: 9:29 am, Sunday, 5 March 2017
The Prime Minister is heading to Jakarta to attend the Indian Ocean Rim Association leadership summit following President Joko Widodo's successful visit to Sydney.
The summit will address maritime security issues including people smuggling, transnational crime, illegal fishing as well as economic ties.
The trip comes after the two countries agreed to re-instate military co-operation and to conclude negotiations on a free trade deal this year.
Trade Minister Steve Ciobo is also in the Indonesian captial leading a business delegation.

3) AWPA calls on Turnbull to raise West Papua rights violations with Jakarta


West Papua supporters protest in Sydney during President Joko Widowo's visit last week. Image: AWPA
An Australian-based West Papuan solidarity group today called on Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull to raise the issues of human rights violations and self-determination heads with Indonesia.
Turnbull is travelling to Jakarta to attend the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA_) leadership summit in Jakarta from today until Tuesday.
The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) is celebrating its 20th Anniversary and Indonesia is the current chair.
The theme of the summit is “Strengthening Maritime Cooperation for a Peaceful, Stable, and Prosperous Indian Ocean”.
Joe Collins of the Australia West Papua Association (AWPA) said: “While in Jakarta, the Prime Minister has a chance to discuss the issue of West Papua with the Indonesian President, something he did not do on Jokowi’s visit to Sydney last weekend.”
Supporters of West Papua protested during Jokowi’s visit to Sydney last week.
The AWPA statement said it wanted Turnbull follow the “courageous stand” of seven Pacific countries which raised West Papua at the United Nation’s 34th Regular Session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva last week.
Grave concerns
The Vanuatu Minister of Justice and Community Development, Ronald K Warsal, representing a coalition of seven Pacific countries – Marshall Islands, Nauru, Palau, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu and Vanuatu — raised grave concerns about the human rights situation in West Papua.
Collins said: “There are an increasing number of bilateral visits between Australian and Indonesian officials and AWPA believes that these bilateral visits present an opportunity for an open and frank exchange on how to improve the human rights situation in West Papua.
“We urge the Prime Minister to take the issue of West Papua seriously. There is no point in ignoring West Papua. The issue is not going away.”
In concluding his statement in Geneva, the Vanuatu minister said: “Mr President, as I close, we believe that challenges of West Papua must be brought back to the agenda of the United Nations”.
The AWPA statement called on the Australian government to support this call from Pacific leaders.
Also in Geneva, a church-backed coalition called on Indonesia to open greater access to West Papua for international journalists, independent observers, human rights organisations and the International Red Cross.
The call came at an international consultation hosted by the World Council of Churches with the International Coalition on Papua in Geneva.

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