The City of Cockburn’s expanding profile as an innovative place of business and employment hub in WA was on show during a visit from the Consul General of The Republic of Indonesia in Perth on 13 June.
Hosted by Mayor Logan Howlett, Consul General of The Republic of Indonesia in Perth Listiana Operananta was joined by Deputy Mayor Tom Widenbar, CEO Tony Brun, Cockburn MLA David Scaife, the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation and several high-profile Cockburn businesses for a roundtable discussion and tour.
Mayor Howlett said the visit was an opportunity to facilitate and support Cockburn's thriving commercial and industrial precincts by deepening the relationship between the City and Indonesia and explore opportunities by building on the Indonesian-Australian Comprehensive Economic Exchange Agreement (IA-CEPA) formed in July 2020.
The IA-CEPA creates a framework for Australia and Indonesia to unlock the vast potential of the bilateral economic partnership, fostering economic cooperation between businesses, communities and individuals.
Under IA-CEPA, 99 per cent of Australian goods (by value) will enter Indonesia duty-free or under significantly improved preferential arrangements. IA-CEPA will also support stronger value-chains between Australian and Indonesian business, ensuring Australia is well-placed to deepen economic cooperation and share in Indonesia's growth.
“We know Indonesia is an important strategic neighbour of Australia, and in particular, Western Australia offering trade and investment opportunities and a wide variety of training and education that offer mutual benefits for both parties,” Mayor Howlett said.
During the visit, Consul General Ibu Listiana emphasised that garnering collaboration at the municipal and State level was essential in the mutual effort to strengthen bilateral relations between Indonesia and Australia.
“For that, the Consulate General of Indonesia in Perth is committed to facilitating further collaborations and initiatives with the City of Cockburn which may lead to a broader scope of multi-sectoral cooperation within the framework of the IA-CEPA and WA – East Java Sister State/Province partnership."
Mayor Howlett said there were many areas Cockburn could collaborate with Indonesia.
“This includes shipbuilding with Surabaya, an Indonesia-WA Memorandum of Understanding to work with the Electrical and Communications Association of WA to increase training of Indonesian electricians, plus opportunities in the Education, space, health and maritime sectors,” he said.
“The roundtable provided participants with an opportunity to build on the highly valued Sister State relationship established between East Java and the Government of Western Australia in 1990.
“With a population of 273 million, Indonesia is the largest economy in South East Asia and is forecast to be the world’s fourth largest economy by 2050.
“Cockburn is a major contributor to the economic activity of the region and its economic profile reflects its strong position.
“The City’s Gross Regional Product is estimated at just over $9.5b, which is 3 per cent of WA’s Gross State Product ($316b). We are home to over 8,500 local businesses and there are over 43,000 local jobs and 61,000 residents are employed across a range of sectors.
“The Manufacturing industry makes the greatest contribution to economic output in the region, which at $7.8b accounts for 33 per cent of total output and supports over 7,300 jobs.
“Over the last 10 years local jobs have almost tripled. This growth is expected to continue, as the population is forecast to increase by nearly 50,000 people over the next 20 years.
“The City’s Strategic Community Plan 2020-2030 aims to create ‘a sustainable and diverse local economy that attracts increased investment and provides local employment’ and strengthening ties with our international neighbours forms a vital part of that.”
Following the roundtable discussion, the group completed a tour of the Australian Marine Complex followed by a visit to the College of Electrical Training in Jandakot City.
Some of the organisations and businesses represented at the event included the Electrical and Communications Association of WA, the College of Electrical Training, Defence West at the Department of Jobs, Tourism, Science and Innovation, the Australian Marine Complex, South West Group, Austal Ships, the Australian Medical Association, Black Swan Health, Chamber of Commerce and Industry of WA, Australia Indonesia Business Council and The Indonesia Institute.
Front l-r - Ms Widya Fitri, Vice Consul Economy and Mrs Listiana Operananta, Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in Perth, Cockburn Mayor Logan Howlett, Cockburn CEO Tony Brun, Cockburn Economic Development Officer William Barry. Rear l-r - Cockburn Executive Corporate Affairs Victoria Green, Cockburn Chief of Built and Natural Environment Daniel Arndt, Cockburn Deputy Mayor Tom Widenbar, Cockburn Lead Business and Economic Development Michael Faulkner.