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Jakarta Post

Indonesia expects stronger economic ties with Philippines

  • Ayomi Amindoni
    Ayomi Amindoni

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Fri, September 9, 2016   /  07:13 pm
Indonesia expects stronger economic ties with Philippines Close talk -- Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte (left) speaks with President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo during their meeting at the State Palace in Jakarta on Sept. 9. Duterte is currently on a two-day visit to the country. (AP Photo/Dita Alangkara)

President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo congratulated the Philippines for its upcoming ASEAN chairmanship in 2017, expecting that Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte’s leadership would set the regional bloc’s future path.

Jokowi also said he hoped Indonesia and the Philippines would enhance their economic cooperation.

"Amid the global economic slowdown, our trade values have continued to increase. This situation shows that your visit has taken place at the right moment. This visit will give us a new spirit to improve efforts to strengthen cooperation between our two countries," Jokowi said after a meeting with President Duterte at the State Palace during the latter’s inaugural visit to Jakarta on Friday.

In the meeting, Duterte highlighted a joint maritime security operation initiated to deal with rampant vessel hijacking, which had hampered coal shipments to power plants in the Philippines.

Nine Indonesian sailors are still being held captive by Abu Sayyaf militants in the southern Philippines.

"I am very sorry that the shipment of coal needed by power plants in my country has been hampered by piracy in the region. Piracy is an international crime," Duterte said.

President Jokowi welcomed Duterte in an official ceremony at the State Palace at 4 p.m.This was the first state visit Duterte has undertaken since his inauguration in June. After the ceremony, both leaders had discussions that ended with a joint press statement.

Prior to the meeting, Jokowi took Duterte to Pasar Tanah Abang, Southeast Asia’s largest textile market in Central Jakarta, for a blusukan (impromptu visit). During the visit, Jokowi showed his Philippine counterpart examples of how Indonesia managed social issues. (ebf)