Australian PM to Open Bali Eye Center
SEMINYAK ~ Australiaâ€™s Prime Minister John Howard arrived in Bali on Friday to open a new eye center and Australian Consulate, and to meet with President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, his office said.
â€œIndonesia is a very important partner for Australia, not least because of our close proximity, strong political, security and economic ties and extensive people-to-people links,â€ Howard said in a statement received by The Bali Times.
Howard arrived from East Timor, where he met with the countryâ€™s new government and Australian troops serving in the former Indonesian territory.
It is the prime ministerâ€™s 13th visit to Indonesia since he took office more than 11 year ago.
The AUS$7 million (US$6.2 million) Australia-Bali Memorial Eye Centre Eye Centre is to â€œprovide world-class eye treatment services for the large number of Indonesians affected by blindness, and high quality training facilities for Indonesian eye specialists,â€ the statement said.
â€œI look forward to reviewing with President Yudhoyono the full range of our existing cooperative activities, including in important areas such as security, counter-terrorism and transnational crime,â€ Howard said in the statement.
â€œI also anticipate discussing the recommendation by trade ministers to conduct a feasibility study into a bilateral Free Trade Agreement. Our trading relationship is an important one: Indonesia ranks 10th on our list of export destinations. I am keen to explore how it can be further strengthened,â€ the Australian leader said.Filed under: Headlines