“Katalis” promotes closer commercial partnership between eastern Indonesia and Australia
New export pilot design to boost the competitiveness of Sulawesi’s cacao industry now underway.
MAKASSAR, 12 August 2022 – With the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IA-CEPA) now in full swing, businesses in eastern Indonesia are highly encouraged to tap into the many opportunities available to maximise the benefits of the agreement. An event hosted by the Australian Consulate-General in Makassar to introduce the IA-CEPA Economic Cooperation Program Katalis on Friday (12/8) presented a number of entryways for closer commercial partnerships between businesses in eastern Indonesia and Australia.
Attended by representatives from both the private and public sectors across eastern Indonesia, the hybrid event provided a closer look at Katalis and how the program strives to increase two-way trade and investment between Australia and Indonesia, as well as promote inclusive economic growth. Established in 2020 to support the Government of Indonesia and the Australian Government in implementing the IA-CEPA, Katalis provides expertise and support for activity ideas in the Indonesia-Australia space that meet its investment criteria and welcomes submissions through its business portal.
“We are thrilled to be in Makassar and to engage directly with stakeholders here and across eastern Indonesia, a region that has a long history of engagement with Australia. The IA-CEPA provides a framework for closer commercial ties between Indonesia and Australia in priority sectors such as education, healthcare, tourism, and renewable energy, among others, and we see in eastern Indonesia growing opportunities to unlock the vast potential of bilateral economic partnership,” said Paul Bartlett, Director of IA-CEPA ECP Katalis.
As of June 2022, Katalis is supporting nine key activities across Indonesia and Australia totaling AUD 4.9 million. One of those activities, as announced during the event, is an export pilot project for cacao from Indonesia to Australia or third countries. In addition to enhancing the competitiveness of the Indonesian cacao industry, much of which is based in Sulawesi, the export pilot project being developed by Katalis will also provide recommendations on how to improve productivity, maintain quality consistency, and address other relevant issues within the supply chain.
“The cacao sector is a national priority for Indonesia and has the potential to deliver sizeable economic benefits to communities in Sulawesi and elsewhere in Indonesia, including women and girls. This is why the Australian Government is supporting this project to identify how Australia and Indonesia can collaborate to accelerate Indonesia’s cacao exports under the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. The project will also help to support Indonesia’s economic recovery,” said Bronwyn Robbins, Australian Consul-General in Makassar.
Currently underway, the project began with research on production challenges faced by cacao farmers, digital technology adoption to help farmers meet sustainable certification and standards, and requirements for entering the Australian market. The findings from the study are expected to be replicated in other parts of Indonesia. The data collection process will involve consultation with a wide range of stakeholders.
Cacao is one of Indonesia’s primary agricultural export commodities, with exports (2019) amounting to more than 358 thousand tons worth USD 1.2 billion. According to the International Cacao Organization, Indonesia is the largest cacao producer in Asia and the sixth largest in the world (2018). Data from Statistics Indonesia (BPS) indicated that more than half of national cacao production is generated from Sulawesi.