Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
Jakarta, Indonesia. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A free trade agreement between Australia and Indonesia will soon allow thousands of Indonesians to enter Australia on working holiday visas.

Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham said a “few thousand” people will be given entry into the country and more student visa quotas will be added, Bega District News reported. He told Sky News that the number is important despite being relatively small.

Birmingham added that two-way trade with Indonesia is already worth AUD16.5 billion (US$11.83 billion), and that the opportunity to become the fifth-largest economy in the world is on Australia’s doorstep, The Australian reported.

He also said that the deal would benefit multiple economic sectors, including healthcare, education, agriculture and the metals industry. “Almost all sectors are going to see a significant lift,” said the Australian senator.

The main concern for both parties is to see increasing investment in both directions.

Last Friday, Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison and Indonesian President Joao Widodo signed a memorandum of understanding that committed the two countries to get a deal signed before December 25. The deal will reportedly remove all Australian import duties and cut out 99% of export taxes.

Some Australians are not taking the deal well. They believe the agreement will mean the introduction of more cheap labor for big business, which will undermine the local workforce.

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