Indonesia-U.S. highlight common interests in enhancing bilateral cooperation

Indonesia-U.S. highlight common interests in enhancing bilateral cooperation
Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi (right) and her counterpart from the United States, Michael Pompeo (left), met in Jakarta on Thursday (October 29, 2020). (RI's Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – The governments of Indonesia and the United States have agreed to enhance bilateral strategic partnerships by amplifying shared values ​​and interests, while respecting each other’s differences.

It was conveyed by Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in a press statement regarding the visit of her U.S. counterpart, Michael R Pompeo, in Jakarta on Thursday.

“We agreed to increase cooperation in the health sector. I thank the U.S.  government for the cooperation with Indonesia during the pandemic, including through the provision of 1,000 ventilators,” FM Retno said.

In her statement, she reiterated the importance of building national and regional health resilience, as the U.S. could play major role to support these efforts.

The two countries also agreed to increase economic cooperation, particularly in strengthening global supply chains and accelerating economic recovery.

“In this regard, I underlined again the importance of GSP facilities, that not only bring benefits for Indonesia but also for U.S. businesses,” Retno said.

The Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) provides duty-free treatment to goods of designated beneficiary countries.

“I encourage U.S. businesses to invest more in Indonesia, including for projects on the outer islands of Indonesia, such as Natuna Island,” she continued.

Meanwhile, regarding defense cooperation, FM Retno explained that the visit of Indonesian Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto to the U.S. in October to meet with his counterpart, Mark T Esper, and various partners in the country resulted in an agreement to increase cooperation.

One of which is strengthening defense capabilities and procuring military equipment to achieve Minimum Essential Force (MEF), joint exercises, intelligence sharing, and maritime security cooperation in the region.

With regard to person-to-person contact, Indonesia and the U.S. agreed to deepen mutual understanding between the two countries, Retno continued.

“In this regard I encouraged the finalization of the Memorandum of Understanding on Education. I raised issue on visa for Indonesian students that has been on  hold due to COVID-19 pandemic,” she added.

Pompeo’s visit to Indonesia is part of a series of his trip on October 25-30, 2020, to four countries, including India, Sri Lanka and Maldives.

Reporting by Indonesia Window

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