Indonesia, Singapore Mark 50 Years of Diplomatic Ties, Strengthen Cooperation

The Indonesian Air Force and the Singapore Air Force form the number 50 to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the establishment of Indonesia-Singapore diplomatic ties. (Photo courtesy of the Coordinating Ministry of Maritime Affairs)

By : Sheany | on 11:10 PM September 07, 2017
Category : News, Foreign Affairs

Jakarta. President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong agreed to strengthen cooperation in digital economy during Indonesia-Singapore annual leaders' retreat on Thursday (07/09).

"Cooperation in digital economy is not merely an option, but an inevitability. This will be a priority for Indonesia and Singapore," Jokowi said during a joint press conference with Lee.

Through a productive combination of investment, technology and talents, Jokowi said, the cooperation will be a leap forward for the economy of both countries.

The leaders agreed to bring Indonesians and Singaporeans closer by increasing cooperation in the field of tourism and developing joint tourist destinations and cruise operations.

In 2017, the countries observe the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations. Indonesia and Singapore are founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean), which is also celebrating its 50th anniversary this year.

To mark the anniversary, the Indonesian Air Force and the Singapore Air Force conducted a joint flight on Thursday, with their F-16 jets forming the number 50.

During Thursday's meeting in Singapore, delegations of both countries signed agreements on educational, vocational training and disaster management.

"Overall, the breadth and depth of our cooperation reflects our enduring and maturing partnership," Lee said during the press conference.

Kendal Industrial Park, a joint venture of Singapore's Sembcorp Development and Indonesia's industrial estate developer Jababeka, is an example of Indonesia-Singapore partnership.

The park was opened by Jokowi and Lee during their retreat in Semarang, Central Java, last year. Total investment in the industrial park has reached $500 million, and is expected to create around 4,000 workplaces.

Lee added that both countries plan to hold a major cultural event in 2018, "to cap off our 'Rising 50' celebrations, to showcase Indonesia's rich cultural diversity and Singapore's growing arts and culture scene."

"Rising 50," which stands for "Republic of Indonesia and Singapore – 50 years," has been adopted as the tagline for the anniversary.

While both leaders express optimism about stronger bilateral ties for the next 50 years, increasing regional and global challenges may pose new tests for the relationship.

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