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Indonesia and the Three Island Nations Concur to Increase Cooperation

Indonesia has committed to expanding its economic ties with Papua New Guinea, the Solomon Islands, and Cabo Verde.

Retno Marsudi, the Foreign Affairs Minister for Indonesia, welcomed Viera’s suggestion that the two nations collaborate in a number of sectors during a bilateral meeting with the Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Cabo Verde, Miryan Viera, according to a statement released by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

At the meeting, Marsudi asked Cabo Verde to help promote establishing the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Indonesia and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). With a population of 280 million, Indonesia will potentially expand its commercial relations with ECOWAS and serve as a gateway to the ASEAN market. Commented Marsudi.

The blue economy, maritime infrastructure, and tourism are the industries. These three areas are of greater priority for Cabo Verde. Sandiaga Uno, the Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, and Minister Viera will meet, according to Marsudi, to examine potential avenues for future tourism-related collaboration. The two ministers also agreed to start talking about a bilateral consultation agreement and a visa-free agreement for holders of diplomatic and service passports between the two nations. 

Minister Marsudi’s hold meeting with Papua New Guinea’s Minister for National Events and Assistant Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs, Justin Tkatchenko. At the sidelines of the 5th Ministerial Meeting of the Archipelagic and Island States Forum (AIS Forum) in Bali, they got together. Previously, the two foreign ministers held a meeting on the sidelines of the 43rd ASEAN Summit. The two ministers applauded the improvement in Papua New Guinea and Indonesia’s bilateral ties.

High-ranking officials from the two nations have been interacting more often, as seen by this year’s visits to Jakarta by Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape and to Port Moresby by Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Ministers Marsudi and Tkatchenko also decided to keep advancing their economic cooperation, including in border regions.

Jeremiah Manele, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and External Trade of Soloman Islands and Retno Marsudi, the Foreign Minister of Indonesia, met in Bali on the sidelines of the 5th Ministerial Meeting of the Archipelagic and Island States Forum (AIS Forum). During their discussion, the two ministers discussed the progress of various bilateral and Pacific cooperation issues.

In order to promote both nations’ economic progress, Foreign Ministers Retno and Manele decided to expand their collaboration in the area of the blue economy. Regarding development cooperation, Manele expressed his appreciation for the excellent cooperation with Indonesia in various capacity-building programmes, including in health, sports, and education. These initiatives follow the development priorities of the Solomon Islands. Regarding greater collaboration in the Pacific, Retno encouraged increased cooperation within the framework of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) in order to face various challenges in the region.