Stephen Smith Discusses Australian Trade Policy and MEA

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Stephen Smith (on the right) with Greg Gaunt, from Australia Indonesia Business Council, during a lecture in FH UNAIR. (Photo: Akhmad Janni)

UNAIR NEWS – ASEAN Economic Community (MEA) Implementation has drawn responses from many countries regarding their roles and involvements in it. As the nearest country geographically to ASEAN, Australia was one of them. Australia has its own view to respond MEA and it has made a change on its trade law policy.

Regarding the topic, Universitas Airlangga (UNAIR) Faculty of Law has invited Prof. Stephen Smith , a lecturer of The University of Western Australia, for a lecture to present and discuss Australia’s policy and its response to MEA.

A lecture titled The Development of Australia Trade Law Policy to Respond ASEAN Economic Community, had Stephen Smith, Professor International Law, The University of Western Australia as the main speaker with Greg Gaunt, from Australia Indonesia Business Council and Chris Barnes from Western Australia Trade and Investment Office.

The lecture was held in Gondowardojo Hall, FH UNAIR. It was attended by Nurul Barizah, Ph.D , Vice Dean I FH UNAIR and other Faculty of Law lecturers such as Koesrianti SH, LL.M., Ph.D, DR., Intan Innayatun Suparna, SH.,M.H. Esty Hayu Dewanti RK, SH., M.H, and others and also the students.

In his lecture, Prof Stephen Smith talked about the importance of Indonesia for Australia as the neighboring country with historical proximity and the need for each other and cooperation. Indonesia to him is a potential country in MEA among other countries like Singapore, Malaysia and Thailand. When he was asked of Australia’s benefits from MEA, Prof. Stephen Smith answered that the benefits will be gained together from commercial trade and service industry.

The former Minister for Defence and Minister for Foreign Affairs also stated Australia’s policy to enhance trade relationship with ASEAN countries as the main trading partners including Indonesia.

”We have to work together to enhance trade relationship between Australia and ASEAN,” said the former politician from the Australian labor party.

Prof. Stephen’s colleague, Greg Gaunt also explained how important to strengthen relationship of ASEAN with other countries such as Japan, China, Korea, England, and The USA and also the importance of being active in an international forum, for example Indonesia’s involvement in WTO and APEC.

Meanwhile, Chris Banes saw opportunities and challenges Australia has in MEA implementation. Australia has to work harder to export goods and resources to those South East Asian countries, so their needs can be fulfilled. (*)

Authors : Akhmad Janni and Ahala Tsauro

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