The visit will likely see billions of dollars poured into improving Indonesia’s oil refining capacity but it also raises the issue of the influence of Wahhabism and the “Arabisation” of Islam in Indonesia.
The developing bilateral free trade agreement will likely be discussed during the President’s quick visit to Sydney. Indonesia will also be looking to secure more investment and tourism from Australia.
The outcome of the election could mean either a humiliating defeat for hardline Islamic groups or a boost to their legitimacy within the political sphere.
While support for the embattled Ahok is rising, his opponents are likely to remain vocal against his candidacy. It could also indicate, though, that the public may be taking some of those groups less seriously than before.
The protests, counter protest and arrest of individuals suspected of treason are a result of increasing political manoeuvring in the country.
Bilateral relations between Indonesia and Singapore have the potential to strengthen over the coming years as trade and investment grows. This may facilitate resolutions to a number of disagreements that have placed a strain on the relationship.
The Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement is the key to improving the depth of the trade relationship. Addressing incorrect perceptions of each other will also be crucial.
It is unlikely that Busiki “Ahok” Tjahaja Purnama, the incumbent governor of Jakarta, will be charged over the alleged blasphemy that spawned the protests, but the racist undertones seen in the rally and election campaign are concerning.
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President Joko Widodo will be looking to expand investment and Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull will be keen to see Indonesia ease the restrictions on cattle imports. While the focus will be on economic relations, both countries will stand to benefit from closer co-operation in counter-terrorism.