Statement of President of the Republic of Indonesia at the Joint Press Statement with Prime Minister of Singapore, January 25, 2022
President of the Republic of Indonesia (Joko Widodo):
Assalamu’alaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuh,
First and foremost, I would like to welcome Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and his delegation members back to Indonesia.
PM Lee and I discussed efforts to promote bilateral cooperation in various fields, especially in economic sector, and exchanged views on various issues in the region.
First, strengthening cooperation in efforts to rebuild the economy. Singapore is Indonesia’s top investor with an investment value of US$7.3 billion in January-September 2021. The retreat meeting noted that there were new investments worth US$9.2 billion, including in the field of new and renewable energy around Batam and Sumba Island and West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara province, as well as the construction of a logistics hub at the Tanjung Priok Port.
Investment in energy and renewable energy continues to be a priority for the Indonesian Government to promote a green and sustainable economy. To support a green investment climate, in the series of retreat meeting we signed a MoU on energy cooperation and on green and circular economy development cooperation.
We also signed a MoU in the financial sector to maintain financial and monetary stability to support economic recovery. In November 2021, the Local Currency Bilateral Swap Agreement and the Bilateral Repo Line were extended for one year. I also hope that the MoU between central banks related to payment innovation, anti-money laundering measures, and prevention of terrorism financing can be immediately signed.
In addition, to support safe human mobility, the two countries are currently finalizing cooperation on vaccine recognition and synchronization of interoperability of tracking and protection platforms owned by the two countries.
Second, in the fields of politics, law, and security, I welcome the signing of a number of agreements between the two countries, including exchange of letters between Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment of the Republic of Indonesia and Coordinating Minister for National Security of Singapore, extradition treaties, flight information region (FIR) agreement, and a joint statement of Ministers of Defense of the two countries on the commitment to implement the defense cooperation agreement.
For extradition treaties, in this new agreement, the retroactive period was extended from 15 years to 18 years in accordance with Article 78 of the Criminal Code. Meanwhile, with the signing of a FIR agreement, the scope of Jakarta’s FIR will cover all of Indonesia’s territorial airspace, especially in the waters around the Riau Islands and Natuna Islands. In the future, it is hoped that cooperation in law enforcement, aviation safety, and defense and security of the two countries can continue to be strengthened based on the principle of mutual benefit
Third, the cooperation in the fields of education and human capital development. Cooperation in the field of human capital has been a commitment of both countries since years ago. For 2022, there will be human capital training between Singapore and the Riau Islands Provincial Government to strengthen capacity in the field of food industry 4.0 and supply chain.
Such cooperation could be further developed in various regions. For a larger scale, I welcome the plan to sign an MoU on Human Capital Partnership Arrangement that will strengthen research collaboration and institutional strengthening and student exchanges to strengthen the concept of the Freedom Campus in Indonesia.
Lastly, PM Lee and I also exchanged our views regarding a number of issues in the region. Indonesia and Singapore share a common view on the importance of strengthening unity, working procedures, and institutional aspects of ASEAN so that the association is ready to face various challenges in the future.
We are very concerned about the developing situation in Myanmar. Indonesia and Singapore share the same view on the importance of implementing ASEAN Five-Point Consensus. The consensus is an ASEAN decision at the high level and must be respected by all. We also agree that the safety and well-being of the Myanmar people continues to be our top concern; therefore, there should be no discrimination in the distribution of humanitarian assistance.
I also underscored the importance of strengthening ASEAN as an institution in order to be more resilient and to be able to respond to new challenges in the future.
Once again, I’d like to thank PM Lee for the very constructive meeting. And now I’d like to invite His Excellency Prime Minister of Singapore to share his views.
The floor is yours.
Prime Minister of Singapore (Lee Hsien Loong):
Your Excellency, President Joko Widodo;
Ladies and Gentlemen.
I’d like to thank President Joko Widodo for his very warm hospitality to me and my delegation.
Bintan is an apt venue for the Singapore-Indonesia leaders’ retreat, given the strong economic and people-to-people links between Singapore and Riau Islands Province.
This is my fifth leaders’ retreat with President Jokowi. Our last one was held in Singapore in 2019.
Typically, we hold the leaders’ retreat annually, but the pandemic disrupted our plans, notwithstanding the President and I have kept in touch regularly. Most recently, we met in October in Rome while attending the G20 Summit.
But it is still important for us to resume the leaders’ retreat because it is a key platform to discuss and make progress on a bilateral agenda. I’m therefore most grateful to the President and his officials for making these excellent arrangements to host my delegation and me.
Today our bilateral relations take a major step forward. I’m very happy that the President and I have just witnessed the signing of a “balanced” set of agreements that addresses three long-standing bilateral issues between Singapore and Indonesia: the Flight Information Region, the Defense Cooperation, and Extradition Of Fugitives. These three issues are important to our two countries. They’ve been on our bilateral agenda for several decades. We’ve worked together and discussed them many times before.
In our previous leaders’ retreat, President Jokowi and I decided that it was time to decisively settle these longstanding bilateral issues. We endorse the framework which would address the needs and interests of both sides.
We tasked Coordinating Minister Pak Luhut Panjaitan and Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister Teo Chee Hean to follow up with detailed negotiations.
I’m very glad that we have now achieved what we set out to do. Our two sides have reached agreement on this long-standing bilateral mantis.
When implemented, the FIR (Flight Information Region) Agreement will meet the civil aviation needs of both countries and uphold the safety and efficiency of air traffic in a manner consistent with ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organization) rules.
The Defense Cooperation Agreement will strengthen cooperation between our armed forces and advance our defense relations.
The Extradition Treaty will enhance cooperation in combating crime and send a clear (and) positive signal to investors.
In addition, we exchanged letters to agree that these three agreements will enter into force simultaneously. What remains will be for both countries to complete our domestic processes to ratify and bring the set of agreements into force.
The conclusion of these agreements demonstrates the strength and maturity of Singapore-Indonesia relations. These agreements take into account both parties’ interest, represented good balance of benefits, and are durable agreements for the long haul, designed to last for at least a generation, and create a solid foundation to move bilateral relations forward with confidence and trust.
I thank President Jokowi for his leadership and vision, which have brought about this very positive outcome. I also thanked Pak Luhut, SM (Senior Minister) Theo, and the officials on both sides for their tireless work and their shared determination to make progress on these longstanding bilateral issues.
I encourage the ministers and officials to maintain close cooperation and coordination and implement the agreement expeditiously.
President Jokowi and I also discussed the resumption of cross-border travel. Indonesia has resumed tours and travel from Singapore to Bintan and Batam. It implemented a travel bubble to Bintan and Batam, and Singapore will discuss with Indonesia how we can make this bidirectional, and we hope without taking too long.
President Jokowi and I agreed to continue discussions also to expand air and sea travel more generally to more destinations in Indonesia. But we have to take into account the Covid situation, and in particular the outbreak of the Omicron variant. And we will do so at a pace that both sides are comfortable with, taking into account our respective public health situations.
We also reviewed our ongoing bilateral cooperation’s. As the President noted, Singapore has consistently been Indonesia’s top foreign investor since 2014. And despite the pandemic, our investments have grown.
At the last leaders’ retreat, we signed a bilateral investment treaty which has entered into force. This will build investors’ confidence and contribute to economic growth and jobs growth.
And the Kendal Industrial Park, which the President and I jointly opened at our 2016 retreat, is doing well. It has attracted USD1.6 billion in investment and will create many thousands of jobs.
Our Finance Ministries and Central Banks are also strengthening institutional linkages to deepen financial cooperation.
And Singapore and Indonesia are at the same time, beside these existing areas, also exploring new areas of collaboration, such as sustainability, a green economy, a digital economy, and human capital development. And I’m happy that our officials are already meeting to discuss cooperation on sustainability
We have formalized cooperation on green and circular economy development, on energy cooperation, and exchanges between our students and educators.
We also discussed the regional developments, in particular Myanmar where the situation remains serious. We noted that no significant progress has been made implementing ASEAN’s Five-Point Consensus since it was adopted in Jakarta, in April last year.
We are committed to help Myanmar reach a durable and peaceful resolution in the interests of its people. But it is essential for the ASEAN Chair and his Special Envoy to engage all parties involved. We also need to see progress in the delivery of humanitarian assistance.
Singapore will continue to work with the ASEAN Chair Cambodia and the next Chair, which is Indonesia, and as well as other ASEAN member states on the full implementation of the Five-Point Consensus and other relevant decisions.
I also thank President Jokowi for inviting Singapore to this year’s G20 Meetings. We look forward to supporting Indonesia’s G20 Chairmanship and making it a success.
We are very grateful that President Jokowi has hosted a successful and fruitful leaders’ retreat. It shows that our bilateral relationship is in good working-order. Our two countries are able to work together in challenging circumstances and resolve long-standing issues in an open and constructive manner.
I’m confident that we will build on these strong foundations and develop new areas of collaboration to benefit future generations. I look forward to working closely with the President to take our bilateral relations to greater heights.