Sydney, Australia, Jul 4 (EFE).- Australian Prime Minister Anthony Albanese said Tuesday that Indonesia’s stability is “fundamental” for the Indo-Pacific region, the scene of several territorial disputes marked by the growing influence of China amid “difficult geopolitical circumstances.”
“Indonesia’s prosperity, security and stability make the Indo-Pacific region more prosperous, safer and more stable,” Albanese told a news conference in Sydney after meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous country and poised to become the world’s fourth largest economy in just over a decade, is Australia’s strategic partner in the Indo-Pacific, a key area for world trade.
Albanese said all countries have a “collective responsibility” to maintain peace in the region adding the need to address with Indonesia “a series of issues that encompass the difficult geopolitical circumstances of our time.”
Widodo, whose country this year holds the presidency of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, said at the press conference he wants the Indo-Pacific to “become a stable and peaceful region that focuses on collaboration and concrete cooperation.”
Leaders also discussed the intentions that the agreement signed between the defense ministers of both countries be elevated to treaty level and joint plans to produce batteries for electric cars in Indonesia with Australian lithium.
“Australia can offer a lot to Indonesia and the region in terms of energy transition,” Albanese said, while Widodo spoke of “a more substantive and strategic economic cooperation” for the joint production of batteries for electric cars.
Neither Albanese nor Widodo made explicit references to China and didn’t comment on Australia’s plans to develop nuclear submarines as part of the AUKUS alliance, which unites Canberra with Washington and London.
Albanese also announced a fund of AUD 50 million ($ 33.4 million) to attract private sector investment to help Indonesia in its energy transition.
Australia and Indonesia are also seeking to boost their trade, which has grown by 37 percent in the last two years and reached AUD 23 billion, Albanese said. EFE