The Jakarta Post
President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has said Indonesia and Bangladesh have agreed to boost their economic relations, by exploring new opportunities in various sectors.
“I am happy that recently Indonesia and Bangladesh have intensified their cooperation, particularly in the economic sector,” said the President in a statement on Sunday as reported by Antara.
He particularly referred to the increase in bilateral trade, which was recorded at US$1.53 billion last year, up by 25.96 percent on the previous year.
Jokowi’s statement was made after a meeting with Bangladeshi Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina at the latter’s office in Dhaka.
During Jokowi’s visit, Indonesia and Bangladesh signed five agreements on foreign office consultation, a joint communique on the cooperation to combat illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing, a joint ministerial statement on the launch of the negotiations for an Indonesia-Bangladesh Preferential Trade Agreement (IB-PTA), on an integrated power project between Bangladesh Power Development Board (BPDB) and state-owned energy firm PT Pertamina and a letter of intent on LNG supply to Petrobangla from Pertamina.
Jokowi expressed the hope that the IB-PTA negotiation would be concluded soon so that both countries could reduce various trade barriers to further increase their trade and investment.
Indonesia is also looking to supply LNG and coal to Bangladesh starting in 2018. Previously, state-owned train maker PT Industri Kereta Api (PT INKA) sent 400 train cars to Bangladesh. (bbn)