Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi met with Samoan Foreign Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi on the sidelines of the 72nd Session of the UN General Assembly on Monday (18/09). (Photo courtesy of the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry)

Indonesia Strengthens Bilateral Cooperations on Sidelines of UN General Assembly

BY :SHEANY

SEPTEMBER 19, 2017

Jakarta. Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi held bilateral meetings with her counterparts from Croatia, Namibia and Samoa on the sidelines of the 72nd Session of the United Nations General Assembly in New York on Monday (18/09). The foreign ministers discussed mainly efforts to strengthen bilateral relations across a number of areas, according to statements released by the Indonesia's Foreign Affairs Ministry.

During her meeting with Croatian Foreign Minister Marija Burić, Retno discussed possibilities to expand bilateral cooperation in economy, interfaith dialogue and trade and investments.

"This year, Indonesia and Croatia are celebrating the 25th anniversary of our diplomatic relations. We are looking to strengthen our cooperation in economy and inter-faith [dialogue]," Retno said as quoted in the statement.

In trade, the two countries agreed to explore trade potentials of various commodities and facilitate more meetings between their business leaders.

According to the ministry, Croatia also offered to be an entry point for Indonesian products to enter the European Union market.

The topic of trade was also central in Retno’s meeting with Namibian Foreign Minister Netumbo Nandi-Ndaitwah, as the two countries sought to increase economic cooperation through the preferential trade agreement (PTA) between Indonesia and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU).

SACU comprises four other African countries – Botswana, Lesotho, South Africa and Swaziland. The agreement is expected to lower tariffs and boost overall trade.

Retno also invited Namibia to take part in future events, such as the upcoming 2017 Trade Expo on Oct. 10-15 in BSD City, Tangerang, and the Indonesia-Africa Forum in April next year.

With Samoa, Indonesia discussed opportunities to strengthen cooperation in agriculture, fisheries, tourism and disaster management.

Retno and Samoan Foreign Minister Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi also discussed efforts to increase cooperation in capacity-building programs, especially in information, communication and technology.

"Indonesia stands ready to help Samoa facilitate technical and capacity-building training in information, communication and technology," Retno said.

She added it is important for officials from both countries to meet regularly in order to encourage more cooperation across various sectors, and most importantly in trade and investments.

As part of Indonesia’s campaign to become a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, Retno also used the meetings to garner support from fellow UN member states, including Georgia, Monaco, Ecuador and Liechtenstein.

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