Maldives Foreign Minister Mohamed Asim is due to visit Jakarta on Wednesday (21/06) to strengthen bilateral relations with Indonesia, particularly in tourism. (Photo courtesy of the United Nations)

Maldives Foreign Minister to Visit Jakarta, Talk Tourism Partnerships

BY :SHEANY

JUNE 20, 2017

Jakarta. Maldives Foreign Minister Mohamed Asim is due to visit Jakarta on Wednesday (21/06) to strengthen bilateral relations with Indonesia, particularly in tourism.

"The main focus of the Maldives foreign minister's visit is to strengthen bilateral relations. As a non-traditional market [for Indonesia], cooperation with the Maldives — especially in tourism — holds huge potential," Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir told reporters on Tuesday.

Tourism is the largest industry in the Maldives. According to the ministry, around 1,400 Indonesians work in the South Asian island’s tourism industry.

Asim is scheduled to meet Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi on Wednesday morning at the Foreign Affairs Ministry office in Central Jakarta.

The two ministers are expected to discuss various issues, including work protection for Indonesian migrant workers in the Maldives and a host of regional and global issues.

"The ministers will discuss recent developments in the regional and global stage, including the diplomatic crisis in Qatar and security issues," Arrmanatha said.

Maldives is one of the countries that have severed diplomatic relations with Qatar. Its foreign affairs ministry claimed in a brief statement that the Maldives government "took the decision because of its firm opposition to activities that encourage terrorism and activism."

Indonesia is also looking to form other partnerships with the Maldives, not just in tourism, but also in trade.

In 2016, trade between Indonesia and the Maldives was worth about $39 million, with Indonesia on the surplus side.

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