June 7, 2022: In his initial bilateral visit since being elected the previous month, Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese was in Indonesia to meet its President Joko Widodo and shore-up relations between the two neighbors.
Albanese expects to discuss trade, investment, climate change, and security with Jokowi, as the Indonesian leader is known and accompanied by an Australian trade delegation.
The trip comes as Australia’s recent Labor government, which ended almost a decade of conservative rule in a May 21 election, focuses on relations with Southeast Asia and climate change, an issue crucial to its Pacific neighbors. It navigates ties with an assertive China.
“I look forward to productive discussions regarding shared priorities on climate and energy, investment, and regional security,” Albanese said on Twitter.
The Australian delegation included Trade Minister Don Farrell and Foreign Minister Penny Wong.
Albanese was scheduled to meet Lim Jock Hoi, the Jakarta-based secretary-general of the 10-member Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), heading to Makassar in eastern Indonesia.
Albanese is expressing a desire to boost ties with ASEAN during geopolitical rivalry in the Pacific. On Sunday, the delegation with him underlined Indonesia’s importance to Australia.
“We have serious business leaders from Australia here as they want to deepen the economic ties between Australia and Indonesia,” he told reporters.