Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi (Antara Photo/Sigid Kurniawan)

Indonesia, India Seek to Establish Travel Lane for Vaccinated Travelers

BY :JAKARTA GLOBE

OCTOBER 31, 2021

Jakarta. Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi and her Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar have discussed the possibility of establishing a bilateral travel lane between the two countries as the two ministers met ahead of the G-20 Summit in Rome Italy, on Saturday. 

"We are talking about the possibility of immediately exploring the creation of a vaccinated travel lane or VTL and the recognition of vaccine certificates to allow safe travel," Retno said in a virtual press conference on Saturday.

"I also said that India is one of 19 countries whose tourists can visit Bali," Retno said.

The two foreign ministers discussed further the Covid-19 situation in their respective countries, which had made significant progress.

Foreign Minister Retno said that Indonesia had progressed well in handling the Covid-19 pandemic. The ratio of Covid-19 tests that came back positive, or positivity rate, is at 0.4 percent in the past few days, well below the threshold of 5 percent.

That reflects the declining number of daily new cases, which is now at below 700 new cases per day, 99 percent below the country's peak of 50,000 in July. 

Apart from discussing the travel lane, the two ministers also talked about vaccines, Indonesia's G20 chairmanship, and climate change. 

Retno asked India to ensure there would be no more delay in delivering vaccines that Indonesia ordered from the South Asian country.

India had to embargo all AstraZeneca vaccine exports early this year to prioritize domestic use as the Covid-19 ravaged the country. The number of cases reached more than 390,000 a day at its peak. Like Indonesia, the number of cases in India has dropped in the past few weeks to below 15,000 a day. 

The two foreign ministers also discussed the role of Indonesia, which will be the chairman of the G-20 next year.

India, which will take over from Indonesia as the chair of the G-20 in 2023, expressed full support for the Indonesian presidency and agreed to pay attention to the interests of developing countries in the forum.

On the issue of climate change, Indonesia and India agreed on the importance of all countries committing to reducing greenhouse gas emissions according to their obligations.

"Especially for developed countries, we hope that developed countries can fulfill their commitment to funding support and technology transfer," said Retno.

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