Australia and Indonesia have inked an enhanced Free Trade Agreement (FTA), opening new doors for businesses.

The revised FTA, which builds upon a 2019 version of the agreement, was officially ratified last Friday.

Under the expansion, the scope of the pilot program will increase, with 500 placements available in each country, as opposed to the previous 100, aimed at bolstering people-to-people links across various sectors. 

These sectors include agriculture, creative industries, tourism and travel, the green economy, financial services, insurance, mining engineering, information media, and telecommunications.

Over the next five years, a total of 1,500 exchange placements will be on offer, facilitating the exchange of skills, expertise, and cultural experiences between Australia and Indonesia. 

Australia's Minister for Trade and Tourism, Senator Don Farrell, has underscored the importance of this milestone in a statement issued concerning the revised Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on the Indonesia-Australia Skills Development Exchange Pilot. 

“Indonesia is one of our closest neighbours, and a key part of our trade diversification efforts,” he said. 

“Greater cooperation between Australian and Indonesian businesses and workers means more opportunities for trade and investment.”

Senator Farrell also highlighted Indonesia's remarkable economic growth within the G20 and its status as the largest economy in Southeast Asia, underlining its pivotal role as an economic partner for Australia. 

He stressed the need to strengthen economic ties, cultural understanding, and people-to-people connections with Indonesia as a top priority.

The initiative, aimed at eligible workers, will allow them to embark on 12-month placements within organisations affiliated with KADIN, APINDO, IABC, ACCI, AI Group, or AIBC. 

These organisations can be branches of the same entity, affiliate organisations, or established partner entities, including joint venture partners.

The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has made detailed information regarding the program, eligibility criteria, and application procedures available on its official website.