Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd will depart today for Indonesia and the United States.
In Jakarta, Mr Rudd will meet with his counterpart, Dr Marty Natalegawa, and other senior figures, to discuss the full breadth of shared political, security, commercial, environmental, and cultural interests.
“I look forward to discussing the East Asia Summit and ASEAN agendas for the year ahead, with a particular focus on practical ways to take forward EAS priorities, such as co-ordinated regional responses to natural disasters.”
Australia and Indonesia cooperate closely in disaster management, and a joint Australia-Indonesia initiative was endorsed by leaders at the 6th East Asia Summit in Bali last November.
The Ministers will also discuss joint efforts to combat terrorism, and a range of regional challenges affecting both countries, including people smuggling.
“I will also discuss the prospects for ongoing progress and reform in Burma with my counterpart, Dr Marty Natalegawa, who visited there last week,” said Mr Rudd.
Mr Rudd's meetings with trade and agriculture ministers and business leaders will also discuss the Indonesia - Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, and cattle exports to Indonesia.
“In 2010-11, Australia's total two way trade with Indonesia reached $13.8 billion, a 14 per cent increase over the previous year. However there is still significant commercial potential in our relationship with an economy which, according to PricewaterhouseCoopers, will be bigger than the Australian economy by 2023, and which if it continues its current development, will become the world's eighth largest economy by 2050.”
Mr Rudd will then travel to New York where he will attend the final meeting of the United Nations Secretary-General's High-level Panel on Global Sustainability from 11 to 12 January.
The recommendations of the Panel will be a key input into the “Rio+20” UN Conference on Sustainable Development, being held in Rio de Janeiro in June this year.
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