President Jokowi, Brunei Sultan Have Bilateral Talks
President Joko Jokowi Widodo and Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah on Thursday (3/5) at Bogor Palace, West Java, met for a bilateral meeting.
Speaking to reporters after the meeting, Indonesia Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi said the two keaders discussed various issues, including the issue of Indonesia and Brunei Darussalams trade volume that drops due to falling oil prices.
Brunei is one of major oil exporters among Asia Pacific countries, including Indonesia. With the falling of oil prices, trade value between two countries has automatically declined, the Minister said, adding that the two leaders continue to find ways to increase trade by exploring more potential areas in trade and investment.
Related to investment, both leaders discussed potential areas to be developed, such as fisheries, agricultures, shipping, and ports, Retno added.
In agriculture sector, Indonesia and Brunei could work together in the development of rice varieties, particularly in two hybrid paddy varieties Sembada B9 and Sembada 188.
Regarding labor issues, there are currently around 80,000 Indonesian migrant workers in Brunei or 20 percent of total population of the country, said Retno.
Both leaders discussed about the placement and protection of Indonesian migrant workers, Retno continued, adding that a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) related to this issue will be followed up and negotiated between two countries..
The Minister added that she has also discussed the MoU with Minister of Manpower and expected to finish the draft in the near future.
Other cooperation to be developed is in weapon defense system. Sultan Bolkiah and President Jokowi reviewed several exhibitions from PT Pindad (arms industry company), PT DI (aerospace company), and PT PAL Indonesia (ship company) at the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) Headquarters.
According to Retno, after reviewing the exhibitions, Sultan of Brunei showed his interest to purchase combat vehicles from Indonesia and weapons from PT Pindad. The Sultan also interested to invest in shipping and port development.
The Minister further said that other issues discussed in the meeting are related to ASEAN.
the importance of ASEAN centrality and unity.
Besides ASEAN centrality and unity, the two leaders also discussed the importance of ASEAN to provide more support to the ASEAN Humanitarian Assistance Center (AHA Center) headquartered in Jakarta because AHA Center becomes ASEANs hand to assist in the event of disasters or any humanitarian crisis that still lack funding, Retno explained.
Therefore, the Minister stated that Indonesia, Brunei and ASEAN at the ASEAN Summit 2018 agreed that ASEAN member countries would provide more financial support for AHA Center operations.
For the record, Sultan of Bruneis visit to Indonesia was a reciprocate visit following the attendance of President Jokowi in the 50th anniversary of Sultan Hassanal Bolkiahs accession to the thrones in October 2017 in Brunei Darussalam.
Indonesia and Brunei has maintained close relationship since January 1, 1984. Bilateral cooperation between two countries also has been very well in various fields and levels. (FID/AGG/EN) (STU/EP/Naster)