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Call to boost Aust retirees in Indonesia

AAP logoAAP 15/08/2016 Lisa Martin

Simplifying visa requirements to make it easier for Aussie seniors to retire in Indonesia are among recommendations from business groups weighing in on free trade negotiations.

Australia and Indonesia have recently rebooted trade talks after a two-year stalemate over diplomatic tensions surrounding the execution of Australian drug smugglers and a spy scandal.

Business groups from both nations, in a report released on Monday, warn that remaining tariffs, quotas, limits on foreign direct investment and red tape restricting the cross-border movement of people are factors hampering trade co-operation.

They call for a new trade deal to go beyond that secured in a 2010 agreement between Australia, New Zealand and other ASEAN countries.

The report calls on both governments to make it easier for skilled workers to travel between the countries and for seasonal workers to come to Australia.

It identifies the issue of halal certification as a potential trade obstacle requiring more co-ordination between the two nations.

The report says negotiations must acknowledge Indonesia's push for food self-sufficiency is a flawed concept.

It calls for the expansion of a partnership in red meat and cattle and to apply a similar approach to other sectors such as grains, seafood and horticulture.

In education, the business groups call for Australia to help Indonesia develop its vocational education training sector and more joint university partnerships.

Australian schools need to ramp up Bahasa Indonesia language programs.

The report says Indonesia could potentially help plug a gap in Australia's rising demand for aged care workers and nurses.

But Indonesian nurses need extra training to increase standards of care.

It recommends Jakarta lift restrictions on Australian doctors and nurses handling patients while providing training in Indonesia.

Visa regulations should be established to help attract Australians to retire or take advantage of aged-care facilities yet to be developed in Indonesia.

Only an estimated 250 Australian businesses have a presence in Indonesia.

Indonesia is Australia's 12th largest trading partner but business groups say there is significant scope for improvement.

Negotiations for a free trade agreement with Indonesia are expected to be finalised by mid or late 2017.

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