By : Rusdi Hartono(*
During the Covid 19 pandemic, the whole world experienced severe trials, not only fears that the virus was contagious and could kill humans. But the pandemic has also undermined the economies of many countries, including Indonesia. However, even though Indonesia is in the shadow of a recession. Indonesia continues to aggressively carry out economic diplomacy with foreign countries. In order to open investment opportunities from foreign parties from many countries. So that it can encourage the National Economic Recovery (PEN) and also bring significant benefits to Indonesia, especially for the welfare of the people.
In an effort to reflect on economic diplomacy, Indonesia recently through the Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia in collaboration with the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia (KBRI) Canberra has facilitated the online signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Trade Cooperation between PT Indonesia Trading Company Persero (PPI Persero) namely one of the State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) with N Brothers Ltd/ Import Station Trading Pty Ltd which is one of the companies owned by the Indonesian Diaspora in Australia, located at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia (KBRI) Canberra.
The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of Trade Cooperation is one of the government’s efforts to increase the value of Indonesia’s exports, including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), through Economic Diplomacy and Trade Promotion. This is in line with the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) which supports the creation of a framework for Australia and Indonesia to unlock the great potential of bilateral economic partnerships, encouraging economic cooperation between businesses, communities and individuals.
Economic cooperation between Indonesia and Australia can continue to be improved by utilizing the implementation of the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) and various facilitation schemes such as encouraging trade cooperation, business matching, bussines forum, export training, exhibition support, mentoring/advocacy, trade promotion and other facilities for Indonesian businesses in the Australian market. The Facilitation Scheme provides a positive stimulus to Indonesian business actors, including Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) in increasing their sales.
It is known that Indonesia’s main export products to Australia are metal products, wood products, reception apparatus for television and fertilizers. Some of these products are products produced by Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), so that they will have a positive impact on the expansion of employment opportunities and employment, the formation of Gross Domestic Product (GDP), to the provision of safety nets, especially for low-income communities to carry out their activities. productive economic activity.
Indonesia continues to strive to improve trade and investment performance in accelerating economic recovery affected by the Covid-19 pandemic. It can be seen from the increase in the value of Indonesia’s exports to Australia in 2020 which contributed to a decrease or reduction in Indonesia’s trade balance deficit with Australia by around 36%. In addition, in the first quarter of 2021, the value of Indonesia’s exports to Australia increased by around 56.81% compared to the same period the previous year. This is evidence of the government’s success in optimizing the role of domestic economic diplomacy in seizing international markets for Indonesian products.
*(Observer of economic, social and political issues)