President Jokowi Has Bilateral Talk with Dutch Prime Minister
Beginning his working visit in the Netherlands on Friday (22/4) local time, President Joko Jokowi Widodo had a bilateral talk with the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte in the Catshuis, the Hague, the official resident of the prime minister.
President Jokowi said to his Dutch counterpart that he was pleased he could pay a visit to the Netherlands after the Dutch Prime Minister visited Indonesia in 2013, when President Jokowi was still the Jakarta Governor.
This is the visit made by an Indonesian President in the last 16 years, the President said, adding that his working visit this time is expected to boost bilateral ties between the two countries.
President Jokowi also said that it was difficult to choose priority cooperation in the framework of Indonesia the Netherlands ties because relations between the two countries are very intensive in almost all sectors.
However, on this occasion, I would like to focus on three priority sectors: water management, maritime sector, as well as trade and investment.
During the talk, President Jokowi said he is pleased because infrastructure projects, especially on water supply and water sanitation, water for food and ecosystem, water governance, and water safety are under way.
Indonesia, the President said, is facing challenges to tackle floods, coastal erosion and availability of clean water; thus, the President hopes that cooperation in the management of water could be focused on addressing those three challenges, especially cooperation in transfer of skills and technology.
I appreciate the renewal of the MoU in the water cooperation signed in 2015 for the next five years, the President said.
President Jokowi also appreciated Indonesia the Netherlands cooperation in the Jakarta Coastal Development Strategy (JCDS) as well as cooperation of the ongoing National Capital Integrated Coastal Development (NCICD) project.
I also appreciate the Netherlandss support in the formulation of the Master Plan of the NCICD, the President said.
In the maritime sector, President Jokowi appreciated the Netherlands interest to support Indonesia in realizing its vision of the Maritime Fulcrum. According to the President, the vision will be realized by developing maritime cluster, be it in the fisheries sector, building of vessels, providing infrastructures and maximizing sea resources, as well as improving the competence of human resources through vocational training for students and college students of maritime schools in Indonesia.
In addition, the President said the development of the long-term mapping of Indonesias maritime development is also important.
I would like to invite Dutch companies in the maritime sector to be involved in the development of deep seaports in Eastern Indonesia, the President said, adding that Indonesia also highly appreciates participation of Dutch companies in the projects of maritime infrastructures in Indonesia such as the development of a Kuala Tanjung deep seaport and Tanjung Priok seaport.
On that occasion, President Jokowi said that the Netherlands is one of Indonesias main partner for trade and investment in Europe although the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries is showing a negative trend.
In 2014, trade volume between the two countries reached US$ 4.89 billion while in 2015, it reached US$ 4.22 billion.
The Netherlandss investment in Indonesia has also dropped. In 2015, the total amount of Dutch investment in Indonesia reached US$1.31 billion, while in 2014, it reached US$ 1.73 billion.
Responding to that, President Jokowi said that to support Indonesias economy that is open and competitive, the Government has launched 11 de-regulation and economic reforms packages, provided quick services for investors to obtain permits in industrial zones in three hours, the One Stop Service provided at the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) and the renewal of Negative Investment List.
I would like to invite the Netherlands to participate in the projects of maritime infrastructures in Indonesia, namely Sorong Deep Seaport and Makassar Deep Seaport, the President said.
At the end of the bilateral talk, President Jokowi and Prime Minister Rutte witnessed the signing of a number of Memorandums of Understanding.
Indonesia was represented by Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno L.P. Marsudi. The MoUs signed were among others on higher education and science as well as cooperation in maritime sector.
Also joining the President in the bilateral talk were Coordinating Minister for the Economy Darmin Nasution, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Minister of Trade Thomas Lembong, Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Franky Sibarani, and Indonesian Ambassador to the Netherlands I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja.(TKP/RAH) (Naster/YM/EP)