Indonesia and Australia Ink Free Trade Agreement



Associated Press | The Diplomat

The signing ceremony Monday capped nine years of negotiations.

Indonesia and Australia signed a free trade agreement Monday that will eliminate many tariffs, allow Australian-owned hospitals to operate in the giant Southeast Asian country, and increase work visas for young Indonesians.

Trade ministers from the two countries signed the agreement, negotiations for which first began in 2010, at a Jakarta hotel with Indonesian Vice President Jusuf Kalla looking on.

The deal, formally the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, is subject to ratification in both countries. Indonesian Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita said Indonesia would complete ratification by the end of this year.

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