Jakarta: Indonesia is eyeing the Australian automotive market to export up to 1.2 million cars annually following the signing of the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the two neighboring countries, Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto stated.
Under the CEPA, Indonesia also seeks to boost its exports of electric and hybrid cars to Australia, with zero preferential tariffs, he remarked at a working meeting of the Industry Ministry in Jakarta on Wednesday.
The Australian automotive market is wide open after car manufacturers in the country shut down their plants in the past 10 years, as they viewed the market as being unprofitable, he pointed out. To meet its demand for cars, Australia currently relies on imported cars from Thailand, Japan, China, and India, he noted.
In the Southeast Asian region, only Thailand poses a competitor to Indonesia in the automotive industry, he stated. With the signing of the CEPA, Indonesia has targeted to overtake Thailand in the exports of cars to Australia, he added.
Thailand currently produces 2.1 million cars and exports 1.1 million cars per year, while Indonesia produces 1.3 million cars and exports 346 thousand cars.
Among the best-selling car models in Australia are Mazda 3, Toyota Corolla, Camry, Holden Toyota RAV 4, and Hyundai i30 in addition to double-cabin cars, such as Toyota Hilux, Ford Ranger, and Isuzu D Max.
Toyota currently holds a 17.5 percent share of the Australian automotive market, selling an average of 200 thousand cars in the country per year.
According to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS), Indonesia recorded a trade deficit of US$8.57 billion in 2018. It was the highest ever recorded by the agency.
Indonesian exports reached US$180.06 billion in 2018. The number increased by 6.65 percent compared to 2017.
Indonesian non-oil and gas exports reached US$162.65 billion last year. The number increased by 6.25 percent compared to the previous year. (Antara)