Jokowi welcomes Modi at Merdeka Palace
Marguerite Afra Sapiie
The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo has received Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the Merdeka Palace in Jakarta on the latter's first state visit to the country.
The two leaders had a tête-à-tête on Wednesday, before holding a bilateral meeting, during which they discussed their countries’ strategic partnership, including economic and defense matters.
Speaking during the opening of the bilateral meeting, Jokowi said Modi's visit, which also marked the Indian premier's first visit to Indonesia, was very timely, as it came at a time of many uncertainties in the world.
"It is the time for us to have a comprehensive strategic partnership [characterized] by concrete cooperation," Jokowi said on Wednesday. "Such cooperation can be realized only by improving engagement, including at the leaders’ level."
Jokowi went on to express his hopes that Indonesia and India, which celebrate 70 years of bilateral ties next year, could further enhance a partnership that contributed to global peace and stability.
After the meeting at the Merdeka Palace, Jokowi and Modi departed for the National Monument complex to inaugurate a kite festival organized jointly by Jakarta's Museum Layang-Layang and the Ahmedabad Kite Museum. The two leaders were also expected to visit Jakarta’s Istiqlal Mosque.
The volume of trade between Indonesia and India increased 28.7 percent in 2017. Indonesian exports amounted to US$14.08 billion, including from palm oil and coal, while imports were valued at $4.05 billion. (ahw)
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