Indonesia, Bangladesh agree to promote economics ties

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Bangladesh agree to continue to promote economic cooperation and create opportunity for new cooperation.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) met with Bangladesh Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina in Dhaka on Sunday discussing bilateral issues, Deputy for Protocol, Press and Media of the Presidential Secretariat Bey Machmudin said in a press release available here on Sunday.

"I am glad that lately the relations between Indonesia and Bangladesh are growing including in economy," said Jokowi who arrived in Bangladesh as part of his visit to South Asian countries including India, Sri Lanka, Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.

Jokowi said in the economic sector, bilateral cooperation has shown "positive" development, citing the bilateral trade in 2017 grew 25.96 percent to US$1.53 billion.

"Indonesia welcomes agreement to negotiate PTA (Preferential Trade Agreement)," Jokowi said, adding he hopes trade barriers could be removed to increase mutually trade volume.

He also said he welcome bilateral cooperation in the energy sector agreed upon in Jakarta in September 2017 and the signing of Letter of Intent (LoI) on LNG supply from Indonesia oil and gas company PT Pertamina and Banglageshs oil company Petrobangla.

He said it is expected that LNG shipment from Indonesia could begin in 2018.

"Indonesia is ready to support Bangladesh energy security such as through supply of LNG and coal," he said.

Jokowi expressed appreciation for Bangladesh trusting PT INKA to support development of railway transport in that country.

The Indonesia state-owned rolling stock manufacturing company has exported 400 units of railway carriage to Bangladesh.

"I am confident shipments of the railway carriages could be made as scheduled. Indonesia is ready to support development of connectivity in Bangladesh including renewal of Air Transport Agreement to increase flight frequency from two to 10 times a week between the two countries," Jokowi said.

In the marine and fisheries sector, the Indonesian president expressed pleasure for the signing of joint communiques on elimination of illegal, unreported,and unregistered (UUI) fishing between the two countries.

"Eradication of IUU fishing would contribute to improving the welfare of our fishermen and it is in line with the cooperation commitment of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) as outlined in the Jakarta Concord," Jokowi said.

Indo Pacific

In the bilateral meeting President Jokowi said he wants the two countries to take active role in boosting cooperation among the Indian Ocean rim countries, adding the Indian Ocean rim countries hold high economic potentials.

"I am confident Indonesia and Bangladesh could contribute to bringing to reality a peaceful stable and prosperous region Indian Ocean region," he said.

Jokowi went on to say that it is time that cooperation in Indian Ocean ring is connected with the Pacific cooperation to form Indo-Pacific cooperation.

The cooperation, however, should be based on "confidence building" and "habit of dialogue", transparent, inclusive and in line with international law, he said.

The Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) of which both Indonesia and Bangladesh are members, will have an important role in building regional architecture, he added.

Jokowi also expressed appreciation for Bangladesh accommodating the Rakhine refugees from Myanmar.

"Indonesia is ready continue contributions in handling the humanitarian crisis," he said.

As two worlds big Muslim countries, Indonesia and Bangladesh will continue to cooperate in promulgating Islamic fraternity and tolerance and peace.

After the talks the two countries signed five Memorandums of Understanding on cooperation in five sectors:

1. MoU on Foreign Office Consultation;

2. Joint Communique on the cooperation to Combat IUU Fishing;

3. Joint Ministerial Statement on the Launching of the Negotiations for Indonesia-Bangladesh Preferential Trade Agreement;

4. MoU between Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and PT Pertamina on Integrated Power project; and

5. LoI on LNG supply from Pertamina to Petrobangla.

Source: ANTARA News

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