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Indonesia may sign trade deal

Indonesia may sign trade deal

From correspondents in Vientiane

September 29, 2005

AUSTRALIA and Indonesia bolstered trading ties today, which could support efforts by Canberra and Wellington to forge a free trade agreement with ASEAN.

Australian Deputy Prime Minister Mark Vaile signed a Trade and Investment Framework on the sidelines of an economic conference organised by the 10-member Association of South East Asian Nations in the Laos capital of Vientiane.

"Australian companies stand to benefit from the TIF which will strengthen commercial ties by enhancing business opportunities and improving facilitation of trade in goods, services and investment," Mr Vaile said.

Mr Vail said the agreement was "consistent with and supportive of both countries’ objectives in the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand FTA negotiations and the World Trade Organisation Doha round negotiations for global trade reform."

Australia and Indonesia have intensified efforts to boost their relationship in recent years with Prime Minister John Howard and his Indonesian counterpart Bambang Yudhoyono signing a Comprehensive Partnership agreement in April.

ASEAN groups Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Burma, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam, and is aiming to create a fully integrated economic community by 2020.

 source: The Australian