Jokowi, Chinese PM commence Bogor Palace talks
Marguerite Afra Sapiie
The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo welcomed Chinese Prime Minister Li Keqiang at the Bogor Palace on Monday, a visit that marks the fifth year of Indonesia and China’s strategic comprehensive partnership.
Following a lavish welcome ceremony, Jokowi and Li planted a camphor tree as a symbol of good bilateral ties, followed by a tête-à-tête on the Palace veranda.
The two leaders then proceeded with bilateral talks, which were expected to focus on the countries' economic partnership, including trade and investment.
In a press briefing on Friday, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Jokowi aimed to narrow the country's trade deficit with China through increasing Indonesian exports to China and other measures.
China ranks as the third-largest foreign investor in Indonesia with US$3.36 billion in 2017, a significant increase from $2.66 billion in 2016.Read also: Commentary: Indonesia needs China more than China needs Indonesia
Between 2015 and 2017, Indonesia reduced its trade deficit with China to 11.63 percent.
Retno opened the possibility that Jokowi and Li would discuss several regional issues, including the Korean peace process and maintaining peace in the South China Sea.
Monday marked Li's first visit to Indonesia as Prime Minister. He previously visited the country in 2008, when he was deputy prime minister. (dmr)
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