The Jakarta Post
President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo will discuss four issues during his meeting with US President Barack Obama, scheduled to be held in the Oval Office of the White House on Monday morning local time, a minister has said.
'The first is about Indonesia as the largest Muslim country in the world, while at the same time is a large democratic country, which is tolerant and pluralist. These aspects cannot be found in other countries, giving strategic value to Indonesia. With such advantages, Indonesia is ready to play a role as a bridge of communication [between the Muslim world and other global community members],' Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi said as quoted by Antara news agency during a press conference at Blair House, Washington DC, on Sunday evening local time.
Retno further explained that the economy would become the second key issue the President would discuss with Obama during the meeting, in which Jokowi would reaffirm that Indonesia's economy was open and ready to welcome any economic cooperation with the US and the world.
With an open economy, Retno said, it would be easier for Indonesia to cooperate with other foreign nations. She added the five economic policy packages recently issued by the government would help display to the world that country's economy was open to foreign investment.
Third, Retno said, it would be highlighted in the meeting that Indonesia was the largest digital market in Southeast Asia, reaching US$12 billion in 2014.
'This figure shows a significant increase compared with 2013, which reached only $8 billion,' she said.
The minister said such a significant achievement was reached without any government intervention. 'With the government's support, it is projected that by 2020, Indonesia will become the biggest digital market in Southeast Asia,' said Retno.
Climate change was the fourth issue that would be discussed between the two state leaders, she said.
'As Indonesia is a big country, we do hope that results of the meeting can bring benefit for the two countries and the world,' said Retno.
Apart from his meeting with Obama, President Jokowi is set to hold meetings with members of the US Congress, ministers and business players.
US Secretary of State John Kerry will reportedly attend a dinner with President Jokowi.
'Secretary Kerry will deliver remarks at a dinner in honor of Indonesian President Joko Widodo hosted by the US Chamber of Commerce,' said the US Embassy in a statement on Monday. The dinner is set to be held at the US Chamber of Commerce in Washington DC on Monday evening local time.
During the press conference, Retno also confirmed that the two leaders would not discuss issues related with the work contract between Freeport McMoRan Copper & Gold Inc. and the government, which is set to expire in 2021.
'There has been information circulating in the media that says the President will attend a breakfast meeting with Freeport officials. I want to say that this information is not true,' she said.
Retno confirmed that President Jokowi would hold a business meeting with hundreds of business people in the US, but maintained that Freeport was not among business entities the President would talk to.
'In principle, we come here as a big country, so it is hoped that our visit to the US will bring benefits not only to both countries but also to the world,' she said, asserting that economic issues would be prioritized in Jokowi's US trip, which will end on Oct. 30. (ebf)
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