Independent Strategic Analysis of Australia’s Global Interests


As an emerging maritime power, Indonesia will encounter a variety of considerations in deciding how it will project its power in the region. In the lead up to his election, Indonesian President Joko Widodo promised to strengthen Indonesia’s maritime security and develop diplomatic ties.

Indonesia Free Trade Agreement a Possibility as Canada Looks to the Indo-Pacific

For Canadian exporters and service providers, ICA-CEPA presents an opportunity to expand into a youthful, growing and technologically-aware market that is also the largest economy in South-East Asia. It will also complement the rising awareness in Canada of the increasing strategic and economic importance of the Indo-Pacific.

Challenges and Opportunities in the Australia-Indonesia Cattle Trade: John Cunnington

For Indonesia, Australia has become a reliable source of large volumes of disease-free livestock that thrive in a similar tropical environment. Among the greatest challenges currently confronting the industry are: price and supply issues, largely due to prolonged drought and devastating floods, especially in northern Australia; a lack of dialogue at the government-to-government level; and the slowness of the industry to tell its side of the story, including of the importance of the live export trade, especially to northern Australia, and the work that has been done to improve animal welfare.

Can Indonesia Rally an ASEAN Response to the Myanmar Coup?

It is unlikely that ASEAN will agree to a co-ordinated response to the military coup in Myanmar, leaving it to countries from outside the region to impose stronger measures. Convincing the military to schedule a new election with ASEAN oversight, while not ideal, may be the best-case scenario for ASEAN.

Re-opening Bali for Business?

Petitioning to re-open Bali is a move of desperation from the local government. It will be difficult to attract a suitable number of tourists, though, given the many factors beyond the control of the Indonesian authorities.

Indonesia: Issues to Watch for in 2021

Indonesia may see the worst of the pandemic in 2021 and Australia should closely watch how Jakarta’s relationship with Beijing develops. The fate of the hardline Front Pembela Islam may also be decided, which could have a significant impact on the broader community.

Rizieq’s Return Unwelcome News for Australia

The presence of the firebrand cleric in Indonesia will make Canberra uncomfortable as he represents a cultural shift that could further alienate the two countries and complicate any initiatives towards gaining a better understanding of each other.

Election may Sway Future US Policy for Indonesia

The bilateral relationship with Indonesia is at the foreground of US foreign policy as the presidential election unfolds. The outcome of the election could sway the US approach to Indonesia and the wider region.

Indonesian and US Defence Ministers Meet

While there was no single significant outcome from the meeting, it nonetheless highlights the growing importance of Indonesia to the United States and pragmatism from Indonesia’s Government in keeping Washington onside.

COVID-19 Reinforces South Korea’s Southern Pivot

Implementing practical co-operative projects to assist in dealing with the pandemic could help South Korea realise its goal to be a strategic partner in Southeast Asia.

Perspectives on Papua: Will Indonesia Loosen its Grip?

The issue of independence in West Papua will likely reignite as Indonesia renews its autonomy laws for the region. The prospects for West Papua’s independence movement are bleak; Indonesia simply has too much at stake in the region and does not face enough external pressure to hold an independence referendum. Further compounding matters, in the current geopolitical climate, concerns relating to China will also heighten sensitivities surrounding the potential vulnerability of an independent West Papua.

Publication Guide

  • Associate papers are primary source assessments written by FDI associates. The assessment topics range from regional bilateral relationships and opportunities and challenges in our neighbouring countries.

  • Feature interviews are interviews conducted by an FDI Research Manager. Interview topics range from the sustainability of our planet to the improved provision of emergency food aid.

  • Normally issued in hardcopy, these represent a comprehensive study of one of FDI’s four research areas.

  • Strategic alerts are priority current intelligence items. We provide these alerts when events such as military deployments or foreign election results occur.

  • A 1500 to 3000 word, single topic assessment.

  • A number of short articles addressing current intelligence topics, issued each week.

  • A record of discussions resulting from a single, or series of, roundtable conferences.

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