Indonesian benefits to state outlined

NORTHERN Tasmanian agribusiness and education facilities should look to Indonesia to benefit from the Asian boom, says Indonesia Australia Business Council vice-president Peter Craven.

Mr Craven, who was in Launceston yesterday, said he would urge the state not to overlook Australia's close neighbour during his short visit to Tasmania.

A Launceston City Council delegation first met Mr Craven in Indonesia last year when they were guests of the Indonesian Consul-General.

Mr Craven said Tasmanian business and educators could service the country's desperate need for industry skills training in agriculture and hospitality to support the country's economy, which is predicted to match Australia by 2025.

He said food security and sustainable beef and dairy production were also high on the country's agenda and that Tasmania could capitalise on its expertise in forestry management, ecotourism and hydro electricity to boost Indonesia's power capacity.

Mr Craven said modern Indonesia was quite different to the decades-old perceptions many Australians held.

``We have 240 million people in Indonesia and 56 per cent of this is considered middle-class, with most under 30. With that, we are seeing changes in their lifestyle ... and the rate of disposable income growing.''

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