Jokowi to meet the Philippine's Duterte in state visit
The Jakarta Post
President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo is set to arrive in Manila this Friday afternoon to pay a state visit to Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte.
During their meeting, both leaders are expected to raise the issue of strengthening economic cooperation, which has seen positive growth even against the backdrop of a global economic downturn, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said.
The minister cited the bilateral trade between the two countries, which enjoyed a year-on-year increase of more than 31 percent in 2015–2016. According to government trade figures, two-way trade rose from US$4.6 billion in 2015 to $6.1 billion in 2016.
Besides trading in goods, the Philippines is also considered a bilateral production partner in Indonesia's strategic industries, she added.
"The President's arrival will be used to fortify our ties and maintain the high level of economic cooperation," Retno told reporters ahead of the ASEAN Ministerial Meeting in Manila, on Friday.
In addition to economic ties, Jokowi is also expected to continue bilateral consultations on maritime security, which the foreign minister said was one issue that had been tabled since Duterte's visit to Jakarta last September.
Maritime security is a high-priority issue in this state visit, Retno said, particularly in relation to the state visit's highlight: the launching of the Davao-General Santos-Bitung route for roll-on/roll-off (Ro-Ro) vessels.
"If we are unable to secure the waters surrounding both of our nations' territories, then we can be sure that economic activities, trade and ongoing connectivity efforts will be negatively affected," she said. (ipa)
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