New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Indonesian President Joko Widodo have taken a step ahead to strengthening bilateral ties between two countries and given their consent to work intensively to remove trade and investment impediments.
A joint statement issued after one-on-one talks between Indonesian President Joko Widodo and visiting Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi for the early conclusion of the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) and reiterated that it needs to be comprehensive, fair and balanced.
The leaders instructed officials to optimise the cooperation between ASEAN and India for establishing a sustainable and mutually beneficial trade relations.
Both leaders welcomed the holding of a second meeting of Biennial Trade Ministers’ Forum (BTMF) in New Delhi on 25 September 2017 and directed the officials to work on the outcomes. The Leaders acknowledged the need to further explore the untapped economic potentials and to remove impediments to trade and investment.
Considering potentials for expanding trade and services, both sides agreed that there are in various areas and looked forward to the convening of the Working Group on Trade and Investment (WGTI) and Working Group on Trade Facilitation and Resolution (WGTFR) meeting forthwith.
They further instructed the regular convening of the forum and expansion of business sectors as it could function as a constructive measure to tap more opportunities and potentials in developing bilateral cooperation in trade and investment. In this regard, both Leaders also welcomed the conclusion of the MoU between Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) and Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and appreciated the setting up of a CII office in Jakarta.
President Joko Widodo welcomed the increase in Indian investments in Indonesia and appreciated their contribution to the Indonesian economy. Prime Minister Modi also welcomed Indonesian companies’ participation through the “Make in India” initiative and invited Indonesian business to avail of the opportunities presented.
Sharing views on the importance of intensifying infrastructure development in both countries, the leaders held discussions about the mutual benefit of enhancing infrastructure development cooperation.
In this regard, both leaders welcomed the convening of the first India-Indonesia Infrastructure Forum which would enhance further infrastructure connectivity cooperation.
They acknowledged the importance of connectivity in today’s globalised world for enhancement of trade, tourism and people-to-people contacts. In this regard, both sides welcomed the MoU on Cooperation in the Railways Sector which would promote technical cooperation, development of rail-related programs, exchange of knowledge, technology and institutional cooperation between India and Indonesia.
To establish a strong air route, they welcomed direct flights by Garuda Indonesia between Bali and Mumbai starting from April 2018 as well as the flights by Batik Air and Air Asia Indonesia serving Indonesian and Indian cities.
They directed the civil aviation authorities of both countries to discuss the matter of enhancing the traffic rights through the bilateral air services consultation that will take place in 2018.
The statement further noted that the leaders have agreed to cooperate in the promotion of energy efficiency technologies, new and renewable energy technologies, with the shared aspiration to ensure energy security and to replace the use of fossil fuel, as well as meet respective climate change targets.
Both India and Indonesia have warm and cordial bilateral relations. The two countries also share close cultural ties as well.
India and Indonesia are among the largest democracies in the world. Both are member states of the G-20, the E7 (countries), the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), and the United Nations (UN) respectively.
Bilateral trade between India and Indonesia was worth nearly USD 15 billion between January and October 2017, with Indonesia’s surplus at USD 8.3 billion, according to Jakarta Globe.