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Jakarta Post

Indonesia to boost bilateral cooperation with Hungary

  • Ayomi Amindoni

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, February 1, 2016   /  07:45 pm
Indonesia to boost bilateral cooperation with Hungary Under the sun: In a bilateral meeting with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at the State Palace on Monday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban committed to strengthening cooperation in water management and renewable energy.(Antara/Andika Wahyu) (Antara/Andika Wahyu)

Under the sun: In a bilateral meeting with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo at the State Palace on Monday, Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban committed to strengthening cooperation in water management and renewable energy.(Antara/Andika Wahyu)

Indonesia is to strengthen its relationship with Hungary through cooperation in water management and renewable energy, with Hungary providing water to 34 districts in Indonesia and the construction of a solar energy in North Sumatra worth US$20 million.

In addition, Indonesia and Hungary would also work together in the technology and digital economy sectors, President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo said on Monday.

"I want Indonesian - Hungarian cooperation to be more robust in the future," Jokowi said during a bilateral meeting with Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orban at the State Palace.

In the bilateral meeting, the two countries signed memoranda of understanding (MoU) in fisheries and aquaculture, as well as in higher education.

For the state visit, Orban was accompanied by half of his Cabinet, including Foreign Affairs and Trade Minister Peter Szijjarto, Agriculture Minister Sandor Fazekas, National Economy Minister Mihaly Varga, National Development Minister Miklos Sesztak and Higher Education Minister Laszlo Palkovics.

On Indonesia's side, Jokowi was accompanied by Trade Minister Thomas Lembong, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said, Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti and Research and Technology and Higher Education Minister M. Nasir.

Sudirman said that Indonesia was interested in exploring greater cooperation in solar energy with Hungary, not only in the construction of power plants, but also in solar-cell manufacturing.

"It was a preliminary high-level meeting and will be followed by ministerial meetings. After that, we will exchange delegations. It's going to be a long-term process. For now,  the President has given direction that renewable energy should be pursued," Sudirman explained.

Indonesia has plans to build solar power plants of 5,000 megawatts in the next four years. "It'€™s a big chance for Hungary," the minister added.

Meanwhile, Orban said he was impressed by the development of Indonesia as a member of G20 that would play an important role in the international economy in the future.

"It'€™s the right time for Hungarian to get closer to Indonesia, in terms of political leadership and the people," he said, adding that Hungary had high skills and capabilities in terms of technology to support Indonesia's development, especially in  water management.

In Jakarta, Orban is scheduled to oversee the Hungarian Business Forum, organized by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and the Hungarian Trading House, joined by 60 businessmen and representatives of various institutions from the central European country.

Hungary is the seventh-largest Indonesian trade partner in eastern and central Europe. The accumulative trade of both countries reached US$149.29 million in 2014, with a $24.45 million surplus on Indonesia'€™s side.

In terms of investment, Hungary recorded $0.5 million of foreign direct investment in two tourism projects in Indonesia in 2014 amid rapid growth of Hungarian tourist visits, up to 6,392 visitors in 2014. (ags)

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