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Bali nine executions: What now for Australia and Indonesia?

The fallout between the two countries has started. Following the executions of Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran, Indonesia has come under attack from the UN, and especially Australia.  Australia has retaliated by recalling their ambassador Paul Grigson, and it seems certain that foreign aid to Indonesia will be slashed considerably. On the internet, thousands of Australian social justice advocates have sworn to never visit Indonesia again, culminating in the boycott Indonesia campaign.

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The importance of trade relations between Australia and Indonesia

If you have been following the news lately, there have been growing tensions between Australia and Indonesia as two Australian citizens, Andrew Chan and Myuran Sukumaran are facing execution for smuggling drugs. A diplomatic visit to Indonesia by our trade minister, Andrew Robb, has already been cancelled and there have been suggestions by Indonesians and Australians alike to sever trade relations between the countries, while some Australians plan to boycott travel to Bali. With regard to trade, how important is Australia to Indonesia, and vice versa? Do the two nations significantly trade with each other? Let’s find out.

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Move over BRICS, the “Next Eleven” has emerged

Twelve years after being named the next global economic powerhouses, the Brazilian, Russian, Indian, Chinese and South African governments, also known as the BRICS economies, have decided to embrace a de facto union, and had numerous economic meetings between the countries’ leaders. The group demands international attention. Brazil can offer the world enormous amounts of agricultural goods, China is the world’s second largest economy with a massive cheap labour force, India offers itself as a source of inexpensive intellectual resources, and Russia is now the world’s largest mineral exporter. The group are now considering making a formal alliance, following a meeting of all five countries in Durban.[1] Such a move would most likely create one of the world’s most powerful unions of the twenty-first century, and surely the most diverse we have seen thus far.

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The Politics and Economics of Aid

In delivering this year’s budget Treasurer Wayne Swan made the controversial decision to defer raising foreign aid to 0.5 per cent of Gross National Income, a commitment made by the Labor government. Instead, the budget included a modest increase of $300 million and foreign aid remains at 0.35 per cent of GNI. This announcement was met with criticism from the Greens and non-governmental organisations, many of whom receive funding through AusAid.

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