Indonesian, Singaporean foreign ministers discuss progress in bilateral cooperation

Jakarta – Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi received a visit from her Singaporean counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan in Jakarta on Wednesday to discuss the progress in bilateral cooperation.

Among the areas in which bilateral cooperation had progressed comprise the drafting of the Double Taxation Agreement and its scheduled negotiations that were conducted earlier this year.

“We see that this is one of (the forms of) bilateral cooperation that is really measurable,” Marsudi noted.

The two foreign ministers also discussed the progress in the project to develop the Kendal Industrial Area.

Moreover, the Indonesian and Singaporean governments are committed to building polytechnics, the construction of which has reached 77 percent completion.

The number of companies operating in the Kendal Industrial Area has increased to 36, Marsudi noted.

The discussion between Marsudi and Balakrishnan also covered tourism cooperation, especially cruise tourism.

Indonesia and Singapore had inaugurated the Genting Dream cruise service on the Singapore-Surabaya-Bali route on December 10, 2017.

Both governments are also currently developing partnership between state-owned port management company Pelindo III and one of Singapores companies to build a marina in Banyuwangi, East Java.

In the field of digital economy, Indonesia and Malaysia are building a digital bridge between Indonesia and Singapore in Batam to be launched in mid-March this year.

The two foreign ministers also discussed the planned meeting between Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, as Indonesia will this year host the two leaders meeting.

Meanwhile, Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore I Gede Ngurah Swajaya revealed that direct flights have been operated from Singapore to Silangit (Lake Toba) in a bid to promote the program of 10 New Bali tourist destinations.

The government is currently exploring the plan to start direct flights between Singapore and Bitung.

The opening of direct flights is expected to not only bring in more tourists but also investment in the archipelago.

In the field of investment, Indonesia and Singapore will discuss negotiations for a bilateral investment treaty in Yogyakarta on Feb 27-28 this year.

Source: ANTARA News