Australian PM leaves for Indonesia to conclude free trade deal

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Canberra, Aug 30 (IANS) New Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison departed on his first official overseas visit to Indonesia on Thursday to finalise a free-trade agreement (FTA) between the two nations.

The deal which comes after eight years of negotiations will help both nations collaborate on education, agriculture besides forging economic, security and strategic partnership, Xinhua news agency reported.

Morrison will meet Indonesian President Joko Widodo on Friday where the FTA negotiations will be concluded and the comprehensive strategic partnership will be signed.

Although the deal will not be formally signed immediately, Morrison welcomed the development.

It will allow Australian universities to own a stake in Indonesian institutions and also impact the agriculture sector Down Under, which exports around 50 per cent of its wheat to the Asian nation, followed by cotton, live animals, sugar and beef.

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When inked, the Indonesia FTA will be the fourth Asian trade pact with the current Australian regime following those with China, South Korea and Japan.

–IANS

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