Issue Number 190 - July/August 2020
In this issue
President's Column
Indonesia Australia Business Council (IABC) Update
AIBC Intern Spotlight - Ciana Martinus
Steel Blue goes Green
Winning in Asia
Future Directions International - Interviews Bill Sullivan
Business Now Asia Pacific
Asia Market Update Series: Indonesia
QLD Update
AIYEP 2020

Due to the COVID-19 Crisis, the AIBC Board has elected to suspend all events until further notice.  Click here for further information.



Phil Turtle
National President

President's Column

Dear Members and Friends,

The terrible COVID-19 situation continues to place great strain on many nations, and only this week Jakarta has returned to lockdown following a spike in cases.

Against this backdrop, we all strive to do what we can to keep business, economies and communities afloat, and it is encouraging to see the strong support and interest that IA-CEPA continues to gather, despite the obvious challenges.

In a welcome and important development, Andrew Forrest and his FMG/Minderoo team recently visited Jakarta to sign a cooperation agreement covering the development of large-scale renewable hydroelectric and geothermal power installations, as well as launch initiatives to combat plastic waste.

With investments of this scale, and the energy of Mr Forrest behind them, this move will hopefully deliver a significant lift to overall bilateral Trade and Investment levels, and serve as encouragement for others to follow.

Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment, Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan, and Andrew Forrest after signing their cooperation agreement (Jakarta - Friday 4 September - pic courtesy AFR)

To keep people informed and enthused, a steady stream of varied Virtual Events and other initiatives are being rolled-out, many by AIBC or with AIBC involvement, and we are pleased to work together with Austrade on their IA-CEPA Business Connect program of events that runs until the end of October.

We have been delighted to partner with the Indonesian Embassy in Canberra, the Indonesian Investment Promotion Centre (Sydney) and all Consulates General and Consulates around the country on a recent Webinar Series promoting investment opportunities in a range of Provinces. This collaboration once again underscores the very close and effective working relationship we have with such key stakeholders and friends.

AIBC also has been involved in the ongoing development of the “Blueprint for Deepening Australia’s Business Engagement in Indonesia”, an initiative of DFAT as part of the Plan of Action for the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Strategic Partnership under which IA-CEPA rests.

Finally, our eight AIBC Chapters have recently concluded their Annual General Meetings, and I thank all our volunteer committee Members for their ongoing support and efforts. It is only through the passion, energy and commitment of these many people, that AIBC is able to serve its Members and contribute to the Australia-Indonesia relationship in the way that it has for over 30 years.


Phil Turtle
National President


Following the entry into force of IA-CEPA, separately the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) that existed has been terminated following consideration by the Joint Standing Committee for Treaties (JSCOT). Their report and the AIBC submission can be viewed here and here.

In promoting IA-CEPA, Austrade has launched “IA-CEPA Business Connect” as a series of events informing businesses and promoting the Agreement. Details of this program and upcoming events can be seen here, and AIBC is pleased to play a central role in this with a range of featured events.

It is encouraging to see a range of organisations promoting IA-CEPA to their Members, including Grain Trade Australia (in English and Bahasa Indonesia).

The Department of Industry, Science, Energy and Resources also published IA-CEPA Steel Tariff Rate Quota Guidelines.

Full and updated details on IA-CEPA can be viewed on the DFAT portal here.

As Melbourne claws its way back from the reimposed COVID-19 restrictions following its second wave, Jakarta re-enters lockdown.

During this time, Australia has been providing well-needed support to our Indonesian friends through supply of ventilators and PPE, and the CSIRO is partnering with Indonesia
on COVID-19 research.

For further information on COVID-19 responses, the Australian Government’s website here, remains a comprehensive portal to the very broad range of health and business related information.
Australian businesses are also assisted by Export Finance Australia, Austrade (Export Market Development Grants), and the International Freight Assistance Mechanism.

For Indonesia, the government has launched 2 COVID-19 portals here (Bahasa Indonesia only) and here (for Jakarta specifically).

Australian businesses operating in Indonesia are encouraged to also seek advice from their established advisers and the Australian Government.

Our counterparts at the IABC in Jakarta have been kindly circulating an updated informal timeline/overview, with the latest here.

Indonesia Australia Business Council (IABC) Update

The IABC recently elected George Iwan Marantika as its new President, after many years serving as the President of the IABC Chapter in Yogyakarta.

George is well known to many at AIBC and has been a regular visitor and contributor to many programs, particularly in relation to Education and Technology.

We welcome George to this role and look forward to working closely with him, and all IABC Chapters as we continue to push the implementation of IA-CEPA.

IABC President George Iwan Marantika

After the sad passing of Vic Halim, the IABC has concluded its recruitment process for a successor, and has appointed Arfadh Baparsyah as its new Executive Director.

Announcing this appointment, the IABC noted “Arfadh has strong connections with Australian business, government and education. After undergraduate education in business management and marketing, he worked in business in Indonesia before establishing his own small manufacturing company. He used that education and experience to join Austrade where he worked for 4.5 very successful years (2012 to 2016) in ‘introducing Australian capabilities and establishing mutual relationships (B2B and B2G) to achieve commercial results’ to use his own words. He organised trade missions to Australia and introduced investors to Indonesia in widely differing sectors.

IABC Executive Director – Arfadh Baparsyah

He left Austrade to take up an Australian scholarship at RMIT where he earned a Masters in Fashion Entrepreneurship with distinction. He followed this training in what must be one of the most cut-throat industries going around, with 18 months as a business and export consultant in Melbourne. He returned home to Indonesia to continue in business (again, partly his own), before joining IABC.”

Along with George Marantika, we welcome Arfadh, and look forward to working with him also.


The Australia-Indonesia Centre has launched a hub for all things IA-CEPA within their realm.

“The economic agreement between Indonesia and Australia represents a step-change in the bilateral relationship which encourages us to think bigger and find new ways to create an enduring and trusted connection between the two nations.

The Australia-Indonesia Centre is committed to this work, to support a broader relationship of meaningful collaboration between government, business and research.”

This AIC IA-CEPA Hub can be accessed here.

AIBC Intern Spotlight - Ciana Martinus

From time to time AIBC offers internships to young students and professionals, seeking to contribute to AIBC’s Mission and to their own career development.

L-R Jennifer Mathews - WA Government Commissioner to Indonesia, Richard Baker – AIBC WA Chair, with AIBC Intern – Ciana Martinus

Over recent months, Ciana Martinus has been assisting in WA, and has supported a number of events and conducted research related to her fields of interest.

A little more about Ciana can be seen here, and an example of her work can be seen here.

We thank Ciana for contributing her time and energies, and wish her well with her ongoing studies and association with AIBC.

Steel Blue goes Green

Long standing AIBC Members and supporters, Safety footwear manufacturer Steel Blue, has recently reconfirmed its commitment to looking after the communities and environments in which they operate.

“In June 2020, Steel Blue outlined its five key sustainability goals as part of its progress towards a sustainable future. One of those goals, to be carbon neutral as an organisation by 2025, is now on track to becoming reality.

Steel Blue has offset its carbon emissions by investing in projects in Western Australia and Indonesia, two areas where they currently operate and manufacture Steel Blue boots for their global market.

‘As a global organisation, it’s important that we understand the impact that our business has on communities and environments that we operate in’, says Steel Blue CEO Garry Johnson.”

To read this article in full, click here.

Winning in Asia


Asialink Business recently released its “Winning in Asia: Creating long-term value” Report, which included Indonesia significantly in its coverage.

The report provides major new findings on:

  • How internationally diversified companies generate superior returns;
  • Business models adopted by the most successful companies in Asia;
  • Board and senior executive capabilities to succeed in Asia; and
  • How to manage stakeholders, brand and reputation in Asian markets.

Also in the recommendations, there is a strong endorsement of the AIBC and other major business councils.

The report may be viewed here.

Future Directions International - Interviews Bill Sullivan

Recently Bill Sullivan, of Christian Teo & Partners, was interviewed by Future Directions International on the topics of “Indonesia in 2020 and Beyond: Part One: "Australia, Legal System, IA-CEPA, Mining and Resources” and Part Two: "COVID-19, Economic Reform, Foreign Relations, 2024 Election”

These interviews can be seen here and here.

Business Now Asia Pacific



Recently Mike Ryan, host of Business Now Asia Pacific (BNAP), interviewed AIBC National President, Phil Turtle, on the work of AIBC, the recent entry into force of IA-CEPA, and the opportunities this presents for Australian Business.

This interview can be seen here.

Thanks to BNAP TODAY and Mike Ryan for profiling the important work we do.

Asia Market Update Series: Indonesia

AIBC recently partnered with Asialink Business in their “Asia Market Update Series Online Seminar: Indonesia”.

AIBC National President, Phil Turtle, provide closing remarks to this forum which focussed on;

  • The impacts of COVID-19 on the Indonesian economy;
  • Major business and economic trends in the Indonesian economy;
  • The opportunities for Australian businesses in Indonesia in areas such as FMCG (via e-commerce), digital health and fintech
  • Developing a go-to-market strategy with your product or service and how to scale in Indonesia.

Panellists for this event were;

  • Penny Burtt, Group CEO, Asialink;
  • Mark Fitzgerald, President Director & Country Head, ANZ Indonesia;
  • Dean Garvey, Managing Director, International, Blackmores;
  • Paul Gallo, Group CEO, PNORS;
  • Mukund Narayanamurti, CEO, Asialink Business (Moderator)

AIBC thanks Asialink Business for partnering in this event, of which a summary and recording can be viewed here.

QLD Update

AIBC QLD Business Networking Event, 17 August 2020

AIBC Qld members and guests attended an informal business networking event at Mr Percival’s in the Howard Smith Wharves precinct in Brisbane on 17 August 2020. This was the first face-to-face gathering the branch had held since the onset of the pandemic.

Amongst the 25 people who attended were several members of the Australia Indonesia Youth Association, illustrating the close links AIYA has with the AIBC in Queensland.

The date chosen for the event – 17 August -- was especially significant marking, as it does, Indonesia’s Independence Day. To celebrate the occasion the Brisbane City Council lit up the Victoria Bridge, City Hall and the Story Bridge in the Indonesian national colours of red and white. Mr Percival’s is located directly under the Story Bridge, providing many photo opportunities.

Thanks go to Sheila Hie and Taryn Duce, and to David Widjaja, for organising the event.

Socially distanced AIBC Qld committee members celebrate Indonesian Independence Day.

L to R: Sheila Hie, David Widjaja, Ben Seumahu, Taryn Duce, Colin Brown

Paul Martins,
QLD Chair

AIYEP 2020


The Australia Indonesia Youth Exchange Program (AIYEP) is a fully funded Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade program offering an amazing opportunity for young people from Indonesia and Australia to share seven weeks (November to January) interacting and engaging with each other, with alumni and others who hold influence and experience in the Australia-Indonesia diplomatic, academic and business world.

AIBC has been a supporter of AIYEP for many years, and has conducted a range of joint events with various cohorts, and provided internship opportunities for visiting participants.

It is a very valuable program, and one which has seen a number of Program Alumni go on to achieve great success.

AIBC Members and friends are encouraged to host an AIYEP 2020 participant in a 3-week project based virtual internship, and those interested in this rewarding Program can contact AIBC here for more information.

AIYEP offers the opportunity to:

  • Build personal and professional relationships between Australia and Indonesia;
  • Grow intercultural understanding through the online Global Competence Certificate and interactions with mentors, counterparts, alumni and experienced facilitators;
  • Engage in a virtual internship;
  • Join online webinars with high level guests who are key thought leaders in the public and private sectors;
  • Improve/learn Indonesian;
  • Open doors to new and exciting possibilities;
  • Open for all Australian citizens aged 21-25 interested in building people to people relationships between Australia and Indonesia.

Click here for more information about this year's program and a link to the application form.

Info session available on September 22! Register here for an opportunity to get all your questions answered!

Applications close 28 September.


IIPC Newsletter

The Indonesia Investment Promotion Centre (IIPC) has published its July and August newsletters with updates on Indonesia's investment climate and what's happening at IIPC Sydney.

Read the newsletters here and here.

BKPM in Jakarta also published their latest July and August newsletters, which can be viewed here and here.

Healthcare Liberalisation in Indonesia

In a recent article by Fresa Yuriza Litanto and Irham Ramadhan Setyanto of Bahar, they examine the Indonesian healthcare sector and its need for reform, particularly as weaknesses have been further exposed in the time of COVID-19.

“Before the arrival of COVID-19, healthcare has always been an issue in Indonesia. The pandemic only further demonstrated the inability of healthcare sector to handle the sudden surge. Capacity constraint faced by many hospitals and the distressing number of medical workers in combating the pandemic only proved that healthcare sector is far from ready to handle the pandemic.”

The full article may be viewed here.

Advances in Renewable Energy

In his recent article, Bill Sullivan of Christian Teo & Partners, looks at the renewable energy landscape in Indonesia.

"Indonesia has made some recent progress in promoting the development of renewable energy as a viable alternative to coal.

The key requirement, however, for large scale renewable energy development in Indonesia is still missing. This key requirement is a commercial tariff for electricity generated from renewable energy.”

To read this article in full, click here.

Downstream Processing and Refining

In another recent article, Bill Sullivan of Christian Teo & Partners, looks at changes to Indonesia’s requirements for downstream processing and refining.

"The Government has had considerable success in advancing its objective of full domestic processing and refining of all metal minerals produced in Indonesia. This is particularly so in the case of Nickel Ore and notwithstanding the many changes to the Government’s policy on the banning of exports of Nickel Ore.
Continuing progress in domestic processing and refining is, however, dependent (at least in part) on the Government’s ability to keep all stakeholders on side and at least minimally satisfied with the economic outcome for them of domestic processing and refining.”

To read this article in full, click here.

Indonesia Market Update

In their July and August 2020 editions of “Indonesia Market Update”, Morelink Asia Pacific provide news updates across many key sectors including the Indonesian economy, investment, trade, retail, agrifood, manufacturing, automotive, ICT and infrastructure sectors.

To read these update, click here and here.

Digital Tax and Base Erosion and Profit Shifting (BEPS)

“The digitalization of the economy presents a new challenge for tax authorities around the world, particularly in collecting tax from transnational economic transactions. Technology has changed taxpayers' business models. A transaction can be conducted remotely by email or through a website. Accordingly, establishing a physical presence in consumers' countries is not a transaction requirement.

The digital economy has a potentially significant value in Indonesia. Statista projects that digital media and digital advertising could reach US$4.12 billion in value in 2021. The e-Conomy SEA 2019 report values Indonesia's internet economy at $40 billion and projects it will more than triple by 2025 to $130 billion.”

To read this article in full, click here.


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