The Western Australian Government will increase its representation in Indonesia by adopting a new office model to include a regional director and tourism and agriculture officers.
Premier and State Development Minister Colin Barnett said the change would boost the number of WA Government staff on the ground in Indonesia and focus on key sectors with growth potential.
“We have listened to the industry groups and business operators who have asked for more assistance in the Indonesian market,” Mr Barnett said.
Western Australia’s exports to Indonesia were valued at $1.6 billion in 2013-14, but there has been no growth in the value of exports other than wheat and crude oil from 2003 to 2013.
“Western Australia needs to grow and diversify our economic relationship with our nearest trading partner,” the Premier said.
“I would like to acknowledge and thank Members of Parliament Brian Ellis, Nigel Hallett and Phil Edman for their feedback in this process following their visit to Indonesia last year.”
Local office staff have been retained in Indonesia, and the Department of State Development (DSD) will advertise and fill the regional director position. DSD will provide expanded support and staff to the Indonesian office until the new regional director commences.
It is expected that Tourism WA and the Department of Agriculture and Food will co-ordinate the appointment of their officers.
Indonesia is WA’s seventh largest trading partner, with annual two-way trade of $3.9b
WA’s top export commodities to Indonesia are wheat and meslin ($701.3m in 2013-14), petroleum oils ($302.5m), and live animals ($117.7m)
Western Australia’s first Indonesian trade office was opened in 1992 (in Surabaya)
Staff will continue to operate from the existing WA Government premises in the Indonesian capital of Jakarta