Indonesia, Cabo Verde, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea agree to strengthen cooperation

Indonesia, Cabo Verde, Solomon Islands, Papua New Guinea agree to strengthen cooperation

Nusa Dua, The Gulf Observer: Indonesia has agreed to strengthen economic cooperation with Cabo Verde, Solomon Islands, and Papua New Guinea, respectively.

At a bilateral meeting with Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs and Cooperation of Cabo Verde Miryan Viera, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi welcomed Viera’s proposal for the two countries to cooperate in several sectors, according to a statement of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on Tuesday.

Those sectors are the blue economy, infrastructure, and tourism.

Marsudi stated that she would bring together Minister Viera and Indonesian Minister of Tourism and Creative Economy, Sandiaga Uno, for discussions on further opportunities for cooperation in the tourism sector.

The two ministers also agreed to immediately hold discussions on a Bilateral Consultation Agreement and a Visa-Free Agreement for Diplomatic and Service Passport Holders between the two countries.

At the meeting, Marsudi also sought Cabo Verde’s support for encouraging the creation of the Preferential Trade Agreement between Indonesia and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

“With a population of 280 million people, Indonesia will become a potential trade partner for ECOWAS as well as become a hub for entering the ASEAN market,” Marsudi remarked.

Indonesia has expressed its intent to form a trade agreement with ECOWAS since 2017.

Intensifying cooperation in the blue economy sector was also a topic of discussion between the Indonesian foreign affairs minister and the Solomon Islands Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade Jeremiah Manele, who met in Bali on the sidelines of an AIS Forum meeting.

According to the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, in terms of development cooperation, Minister Manele specifically lauded the sound cooperation with Indonesia in various capacity-building programs, including in the fields of sports, health, and education.

Manele noted that these programs align with the Solomon Islands’ development priorities.

The Solomon Islands also invited Indonesia to increase police cooperation, especially in dealing with transnational crimes.

Regarding cooperation in the Pacific, Minister Marsudi encouraged increased cooperation within the framework of the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) to respond to challenges in the region.

Apart from meetings with the two ministers in Bali, Minister Marsudi also held a meeting with Minister of National Events and Assistant of Prime Minister for Foreign Affairs of Papua New Guinea Justin Tkatchenko, whom she earlier met on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit.

The two ministers welcomed the increasingly close bilateral relations between Indonesia and Papua New Guinea.

This close relationship is marked by, among other things, increased interaction between high-ranking officials from the two countries, including Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s visit to Port Moresby and Papua New Guinea Prime Minister James Marape’s visit to Jakarta this year.

Minister Marsudi and Minister Tkatchenko also agreed to continue to strengthen economic cooperation, including in border areas.