“I have been wondering,” by JackH, Simon World, 23 April 2005, http://simonworld.mu.nu/archives/077568.php.
Australia is one of the “Core” countries of the world economy — fully functioning, deeply integrated, free, and open for business. Indonesia is a “Seam” state — it doesn’t fall into the Gap like North Korea, Yemen, or Congo, but it has significant problems. That’s why any effort by Australia to help its neighbor Indonesia along is good news. And why this is good news
First, the set-up
I have been wondering about why Australia’s aid package to Indonesia was so large when they announced it – 1 billion dollars Australian, $50 from every man, woman and child in Australia. Could it have been to buy the support of Indonesia in taking part in the ASEAN summit later this year?
And the delivery
During his visit, designed mainly to drum up Australian investments in Indonesia, Yudhoyono charmed his Australian hosts – even going to the extent of promising to support Australia’s inclusion at the East Asian summit in December.
In a speech at Parliament House in Canberra, Yudhoyono acknowledged that the relationship between the two close neighbours had seen many ups and downs over the years. “Recently we have begun to relate to each other differently,” he observed.
This is great news. The reformist leader of Indonesia is looking for business capital and a closer alliance with Indonesia’s southern neighbor. Australia, for her part, is looking to join regional cooperation societies and spend the money it takes to bring Indonesia into the world, now.
(Aside: I have a soft spot for Dr. Yudohoyono, as he campaigned for President while finishing up his graduate thesis. He gave his thesis defense using Power Point about a month before I defended mine. Politics-minded graduate students have to stick together.)