Turnbull invites Indonesia to TPP club

By , 25/04/2020 19:38

Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will announce a $30 million investment to support “smart cities”. Malcolm Turnbull would like to see Indonesia join the Trans-Pacific Partnership agreement.

Now that the Trans-Pacific Partnership train is back on its track it could potentially stop at Indonesia’s station, Malcolm Turnbull has suggested.

The prime minister and Indonesian President Joko Widodo addressed a lunch of chief executives at the n and Association of South East Asian Nation special summit in Sydney on Saturday.

The pair came fresh from a bilateral meeting where they discussed the importance of sealing a Indonesian-n free trade deal.

The countries had hoped to sign the agreement at the summit, after the deadline blew out last year, but negotiations are still going and no time frame has been set.

Mr Turnbull urged business leaders go in to bat for open markets and free trade, and hailed the recent signing of the TPP 11, which includes ASEAN members Malaysia, Vietnam, Singapore and Brunei.

“We kept the train on the tracks and of course it’s now open for others to join… Indonesia perhaps in the future, Mr President,” Mr Turnbull said.

The prime minister pointed to Southeast Asia’s rapidly growing middle class, expected to exceed 160 million by 2030, and the scope for greater economic ties.

“Open your arms to opportunities and your neighbours,” Mr Turnbull said.

Mr Widodo, who delivered a rare speech in English, joked about politicians having to compete with Netflix to grab voters’ attention while making an underlying point about the digital revolution underway in South East Asia.

He reflected on the tourism boom ahead for Indonesia and other ASEAN countries amid the thirst of young people for adventures, selfies and Instagram photo shoots.

There were tremendous opportunities for to help develop the tourism industry across the region, Mr Widodo said.

Both leaders reflected on the huge infrastructure needs of the region and how n businesses could stand to benefit.

Over the next two decades, ASEAN countries will need around $4.3 trillion of infrastructure including bridges, highways, ports and railways.

“n companies stand ready… to help build the ASEAN cities of the future, and to share new building technologies, expertise and ideas,” Mr Turnbull said.

is launching an ambitious bid to help Southeast Asian countries fix some of their urban planning nightmares, slums and traffic-gridlocked roads.

Mr Turnbull announced a $30 million investment to support “smart cities”.

The initiative will set up a knowledge bank of sustainable urban planning ideas to be shared between ASEAN countries and .

“We learn from each other’s successes and each other’s mistakes,” Mr Turnbull said.

Meanwhile, at a counter-terrorism conference at the summit, Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton has warned the greatest security threat to and its Southeast Asian neighbours is terrorists using the dark web and encrypted messages to plot attacks.

“The use of encrypted messaging apps by terrorists and criminals is potentially the most significant degradation of intelligence capability in modern times,” Mr Dutton told the summit on Saturday.

Mr Dutton’s comments come ahead of an expected -ASEAN cooperation package to counter terrorism.

The prime minister has also held official talks with leaders from Laos, Malaysia, Thailand, the Philippines and Brunei.

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