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Economy

Indonesia and Australia finally sign free trade deal

Canberra's plan to move Israel embassy to Jerusalem delayed agreement for months

Australian Trade Minister Simon Birmingham, left, and Indonesian counterpart Enggartiasto Lukita shake hands after signing the economic partnership agreement in Jakarta on March 4.   © Reuters

JAKARTA -- Indonesia and Australia have finally put pen to paper on their Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, after months of delays due to diplomatic wrangling over Canberra's plan to move its Israel embassy to Jerusalem.

Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita and his Australian counterpart Simon Birmingham signed the deal, dubbed the IA-CEPA, on Monday in Jakarta. This will gradually eliminate 94% of Indonesian tariffs, covering 99% of Australian trade with the archipelago nation by value.

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