Jakarta. Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi and her Russian counterpart Sergey Lavrov recently discussed Russian President Vladimir Putin's plans to visit Indonesia.
"We continued to discuss the preparations for President Putin's proposed visit to Indonesia while waiting for the opportune time for the visit," Retno told a press conference following a meeting with Lavrov in Jakarta on Tuesday.
Retno said she hoped Indonesia and Russia could ink the strategic partnership agreement during Putin's visit.
"This agreement will create a new and strong foundation to elevate the two countries' relations. In our bid to intensify Indonesia-Russia relations, we have also signed the plan of consultation between the two foreign affairs ministries for 2021-2023," she said.
Indonesia and Russia seek a trade of $5 billion in 2020, but have yet met the target due the Covid-19 pandemic. The two countries then agreed to strengthen their commitment to bolster a mutually beneficial two-way trade.
To this end, both countries can maximize the working groups in priority sectors, including agriculture, marine and fisheries, trade, investments, and industries. Accelerating the finalization of pending documents on economic cooperation can also spur trade. As well as addressing the trade hurdles for priority products, Retno said.
“Beyond the bilateral context, I encourage the negotiations of free trade between Indonesia and Eurasian Economic Union with the population of 450 million people,” the diplomat added.
On investments, Retno spoke of the red-tape-cutting Job Creation Law and the recently established Indonesia Investment Authority (INA). The diplomat encouraged Russian companies to invest in Indonesia, especially in infrastructure, digital infrastructure, healthcare, and logistics.
Indonesia and Russia are also finalizing a MoU on health cooperation, which will include a joint vaccine production. According to Retno, the National Food and Drug Control Agency (BPOM) head had already visited the production facility of Russia's Sputnik V Covid-19 vaccine last month.
“This MoU will become the foundation for health cooperation in the medium and long-term, including the plan to jointly produce vaccines between Indonesia and Russia,” she said.