Foreign Affairs/US-Indonesia Relations

Indonesia Buys C 130’s

Indonesia has confirmed a plan to buy Hercules C-130 transport planes from the United States while also getting waiver from US sanctions to purchase Russian Su-35 fighter jets. “In future, Indonesia plans to buy several primary weaponry systems, including Hercules C-130 planes, and other heavy-duty transport planes from the US,” Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu said, while paying a courtesy call last month on US Secretary of Defense James Mattis in Washington DC, on Antara news reported. In the long run, Indonesia is committed to gradually improving its primary weaponry systems on a self-reliant basis and under a partnership scheme with friendly countries, Ryacudu stated. (Defense World.net)

Aircraft and Biofuel

Indonesia has asked for its companies to be allowed to build palm oil jet fuel plants in the United States and France as a condition for its airlines to buy Boeing and Airbus planes, Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said. This marks the latest effort by the world’s biggest palm oil producer to find ways to help mop up output of the tropical oil, its second-largest export, that is increasingly unwelcome in the European Union and United States given environmental and competitive concerns. EU negotiators agreed in June to phase out use of palm oil in transport fuels from 2030 due to concerns over high indirect greenhouse gas emissions, while the United States placed an anti-dumping tariff of up to 341 percent on Indonesian biodiesels in April. Enggartiasto told reporters on Monday (20/08) that he had conveyed the country’s palm oil fuel plant requirement for jet purchases to the US secretary of commerce during a visit to Washington in late July. “We have asked that Indonesian companies be allowed to produce jet biofuel in the US,” he said.(Jakarta Globe)

New Australian PM to Jakarta for Comprehensive Economic Partnership

“Indonesia has the honor of being the first country visited by the prime minister. This can be interpreted as a strong commitment by the Australian prime minister to build strong relations,” Jokowi told a joint news conference. Morrison said the neighbors were already close partners in the security field, “but it is the economic relationship where we have committed today to take another big step.” He said negotiations on the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership (IA-CEPA) had been successfully concluded and the accord should be signed by the end of the year.

The two countries have been in prolonged trade talks since early in the decade, with diplomatic tensions between the two sides occasionally stalling the negotiations. Although Indonesia is Southeast Asia’s largest economy and Australia the 13th largest in the world, their trading relationship is limited and neither count the other as a top partner. (Jakarta Globe)