Scott Morrison lands in Indonesia for his first test abroad

Scott Morrison touches down in Jakarta.

Just six days after his inauguration, Prime Minister Scott Morrison landed in Jakarta and declared that "the first place a new prime minister visits is Indonesia."

Prime Minister Morrison landed at Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport early Friday morning AEST, where he was received by the chairman of the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board, Thomas Trikasih Lembong.

The couple exchanged jokes before walking on a red carpet lined by the Indonesian Presidential Guard.

The Prime Minister was heard greeting several Indonesian dignitaries with the unique Australian expression "g & # 39; day".

The prime minister departed in a convoy of twelve cars, his black BMW equipped with custom license plates from "AUSTRALIA".

A billboard in Jakarta.

SBS News

Later on Friday, the prime minister will meet with the president of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, and both will meet one by one to discuss trade, security and regional cooperation.

The two leaders will make some joint statements before traveling in a golf buggy to high tea at a nearby cafe, where President Widodo celebrated the famous American President Barack Obama for afternoon tea.

Long-awaited free trade agreement

During the trip, Australia and Indonesia will take big steps towards a long-awaited free trade agreement.

Negotiations for an agreement are almost complete, opening bi-directional business opportunities for universities, farmers and manufacturing in two of the top 20 economies in the world.

"For many years, the relationship has been described as underestimated," Indonesian Business Council President Phil Turtle told reporters in Jakarta on Thursday.

"I do not think either of the two countries is among the top 10 trading partners.

"There is a great opportunity now to have this agreement as an initial impulse to try to do it much better than we have been."

The agreement will free Indonesia's university sector for Australian investors, allowing up to 67 percent foreign ownership. Foreign investors are currently excluded from majority ownership in a university in Indonesia.

The agreement, which has been debated since 2012 and which initially had to be completed last year, should be signed later in 2018 after a legal examination of the documents.

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and President Joko Widodo in Jakarta in 2015.

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull and President Joko Widodo in Jakarta in 2015.


Morrison said he had "a very good conversation" with President Widodo the weekend before his Friday meeting.

"We are a government that believes in trade because trade creates jobs, we are a pro-business government," Morrison told reporters in Sydney before taking off.

Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull had to make the trip before being deposed, but Mr. Turtle said the change of leader would not affect the negotiations.

Additional reports: AAP