Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull secured the passage of some cornerstone legislation on Wednesday (30/11) but quickly suffered an embarrassing defeat of a government plan for a lower "backpacker tax" on work done by young, foreign visitors. (AFP Photo)

Retno to Join President in Meeting With Australian PM Turnbull

BY :ERIN COOK

NOVEMBER 06, 2015

Jakarta. Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi will join President Joko Widodo when he meets with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull in Jakarta next Thursday.

"PM Turnbull's visit is very important because this is the first overseas visit of the Australian Prime Minister," Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said in Jakarta on Thursday.

Arrmanatha said the meeting would cover issues of mutual interest, including strengthening communications and establishing a digital economy.

"PM Turnbull is really interested in technology issues because he had been a minister in the area. He has also been a businessman in the information technology sector," he said.

Joko has previously announced plans to build Indonesia's digital economy, with an eye to becoming the biggest e-commerce market in Southeast Asia by 2020.

Relations between Indonesia and Australia grew tense earlier this year in the lead-up to the April execution of two Australian nationals convicted of drug offenses, with demonstrations in both countries. Ties have warmed since then-PM Tony Abbott's departure, with Retno and her Australian counterpart, Julie Bishop repeatedly saying relations have returned to "normal."

Indonesia previously welcomed plans introduced by Turnbull to have at least one Australian minister visit the archipelago each month.

"The Australian minister of trade and investment is also expected to come soon," Arrmanatha said.

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