Indonesia, Turkey Agree to Strengthen Economic, Defense Ties

Indonesia and Turkey have agreed to seek closer cooperation on trade and investment, defense, energy and combating terrorism, President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo said in a statement on Thursday (06/07). (Antara Photo)

By : JG | on 10:36 PM July 06, 2017
Category : News, Featured, Foreign Affairs

Jakarta. Indonesia and Turkey have agreed to seek closer cooperation on trade and investment, defense, energy and combating terrorism, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said in a statement on Thursday (06/07).

Jokowi was in Turkey on a one-day state visit on his way to attend the Group of 20 summit in Hamburg, Germany. He met with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and 25 chief executives from the country's shipbuilding, defense and energy industries.

"We have agreed to continue the positive trend of trade and investment, including negotiations on the Indonesia-Turkey Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement [IT-CEPA]," Jokowi said in a joint press statement with Erdoğan.

Indonesia and Turkey agreed on Thursday to kick off negotiations of the bilateral free trade deal that aims to reduce or remove trade barriers, and the creation of a climate conducive to investment.

Turkish investment in Indonesia forms a negligible part of the $7.3 billion in foreign direct investment that flowed into Southeast Asia's largest economy in the first quarter of this year. Turkish companies invested $100,000 during the period, which constitutes only a fifth of their investments in the country in the same period a year earlier.

Indonesia and Turkey recorded $1.3 billion in bilateral trade last year, with a $713,000 surplus in Indonesia's favor.

A memorandum of understanding between aircraft manufacturer Dirgantara Indonesia and the Turkish aerospace industry seeks to establish closer cooperation.

"We have also agreed to increase cooperation in the field of submarine and drone production, which will be followed up by teams from both countries," Jokowi said.

The president pointed out that Indonesia and Turkey have proven success in defense industry cooperation with the Kaplan medium tank showcased earlier this year.

Jokowi also thanked Turkey for providing floating power stations that currently plug the power gap in eastern Indonesia. The Turkish-built floating power plant Karadeniz Powership Zeynep Sultan is currently anchored off the coast of Amurang in North Sulawesi to provide 120 megawatts of power to the region.

President Jokowi said Indonesia and Turkey also agreed to strengthen ties in combating terrorism, with the exchange of intelligence information and joint development of an IT intelligence system.

President Erdoğan also used the meeting to express his country's support for Indonesia's candidacy to a UN Security Council seat for the 2019-2020 period. He said Indonesia and Turkey share a long history.

"I hope this can be an asset to strengthen our cooperation," Erdoğan said.

Jokowi also made time to visit Kocatepe Mosque, the largest in Ankara, and Anıtkabir, the mausoleum of Turkey's founder, Mustafa Kemal Atatürk.

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