Indonesia President Joko Widodo wants the country of 270 million people to reach a “golden age” by 2045 and become the world’s fourth largest economy.
Rasjid, the present of Indonesian coal miner Indika Energy, believes Australia has a big role to play in that rise.
“This is the new Indonesia. We call it Indonesia incorporated,” he said. “Where the government and the private sectors are together.
“Australia is focusing on security but let’s talk about other security – food security, energy security, let’s talk about that, rather than just talking about defence security.“
He said there was great potential for synergies between the two countries in particular with Indonesia’s transition to cleaner energy, on electric vehicles, and as it shifts away from exporting raw materials in an effort to develop downstream industries.
There is also room for growth in the health and medical tourism sectors and in education, he said, following the landmark opening of a Monash University outpost south-west of Jakarta – the first international university to set up a campus in Indonesia.
“We want to see the numbers of China. We want to be in the top five, top 10 [trading partners of Australia] as well as investment,” he said. “We are very ambitious.”
Rasjid also met with agriculture industry figures in Australia, to discuss the foot and mouth disease outbreak in Indonesia that has posed an $80 billion threat to Australia’s cattle industry.
He welcomed the decision by the Albanese government to keep the border between Australia and Indonesia open amid calls for it to be closed to prevent the spread of the livestock disease.
That would have caused a significant dent in relations. “We would not be angry but of course upset,” Rasjid said.
“We take the Australian concern very, very seriously and we’re very thankful for the support the Australian government has given Indonesia.
“Indonesia is also a victim of the outbreak. [There has been] a 60 per cent drop in meat production in East Java, a 40 per cent decline overall and losses up to $250 million in seven weeks because of this.”
Get a note directly from our foreign correspondents on what’s making headlines around the world. Sign up for the weekly What in the World newsletter here.