After trade spat, Indonesia puts Australian beef on menu
CANBERRA/JAKARTA (REUTERS) - Indonesia is considering buying Australian cattle estates to secure meat supplies and to promote ranching skills, mirroring moves by other big emerging economies such as China to invest overseas in agricultural land and food processing.
The planned investment, which is at an early stage and would require approval by Canberra, could improve ties between the neighbours after a damaging trade spat led to a suspension of live cattle sales and the imposition of severe beef quotas.
The troubled beef trade could be discussed when Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd visits Jakarta on Thursday for talks with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono.
Australia halted live cattle exports in 2011 after the airing of footage showing harsh treatment of animals. The ban was lifted, but Jakarta then imposed restrictions on Australian beef and cattle imports in a bid to become self-sufficient.