Australian Day Celebration at PPATK Office
JAKARTA -- Australia’s Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade has recently approved new funding for AUSTRAC’s work in Indonesia. This recognises the value of AUSTRAC’s international work in supporting Australia’s national interests in our region. This funding helps AUSTRAC deliver important capacity building, relationship building and national interest outcomes through the ‘PPATK AUSTRAC Partnership Program’ (PAPP) and through the new, ‘Australia Indonesia Partnership for Justice’ (AIPJ) program.
You may wonder why the Australian government (and AUSTRAC) places so much emphasis on Indonesia.
With the exception of New Zealand, more Australians travel to Indonesia than to any other country. That is, more people than to the UK or the US and more than to Thailand and China - combined. With the exception of PNG, Indonesia is the largest recipient of Australian aid. The largest embassy Australia has anywhere in the world is in Jakarta. It is bigger than our embassies in Washington or Beijing or London. Many of Australia’s major government departments, agencies and businesses are represented in Indonesia.
So why is Indonesia important to us?
Firstly, Indonesia has a population ten times that of Australia. It is hard to imagine too many other neighbouring countries in the world that are so different from each other in nearly every way. At its closest point Australia and Indonesia are less than 200kms apart. It is clearly in Australia’s core national interest to work with Indonesia in anyway possible to help maintain its stability and prosperity. This is why our military, national security and financial intelligence agencies amongst many others, are working very closely together.
Secondly, as the world’s 16th largest economy (Australia is 12th) and with a rapidly growing middle class of 75 million people(!), Indonesia is a huge potential market for Australian business, and visa versa.
Finally, with over 1million people travelling to and from Indonesia to Australia every year, it is inevitable that this will include some criminals or people looking to do harm to both our societies. Through our aid programs, Australia seeks to ensure our Indonesian counterparts are technically capable, are collaborating closely with us and that we share a common goal of defeating criminals and terrorists. In this way, we can minimise the risk to Australians and to Australian interests.
AUSTRAC is playing its part in building what is one of Australia’s most important bilateral relationships.
Rob Buchan | Director, Indonesia Programs
International OperationsTags : PPATK, AUSTRAC, Indonesia, Australia Tweet