The federal government has reacted to the overnight execution of Bali Nine ringleaders, Myuran Sukumaran and Andrew Chan, by recalling its ambassador, Paul Grigson, from Jakarta.

The two were among eight foreign nationals executed by firing squad on the island of Nusakambangan at around 3.25 (AEST) on Wednesday morning.

Prime Minister Tony Abbott has lashed out at the executions calling them cruel and unnecessary: “We deplore what’s been done and this cannot be simply business as usual,” he said to reporters in Canberra.

Mr Abbott went on to say that Indonesia’s determination to carry out the executions has caused deep damage to relationships between the two countries. And the suspension of ministerial contact between the two countries is the beginning, not the end, of Australia’s response.

But business leaders are asking the government to think about the likely consequences of their responses before they enact them.

Econmist Tim Harcourt warned, “There’s around 2,500 exporters selling into Indonesia and that number tends to grow even with Bali bombings and other difficulties.”

Mr Harcourt went on to say that these exports were worth $5.65 billion to Australian businesses in 2013/14; while Australia imported $6.4 billion worth of goods from its northern neighbour.

Both countries need each other, he went on to say. “I don’t think you would want to do anything to damage ordinary Indonesian people given that there’s a lot of poverty in Indonesia.

“So I think that the displeasure can be made at the appropriate (official) level.”

Any hint of withdrawal of foreign aid would hurt both countries.

“Aid that helps build capacity in Indonesia is a good thing, if you try to withdraw aid from educational institutions, you would just play into the hands of terrorists. We want to continue to build capacity within Indonesia.”

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