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Jakarta Post

Indo-Pacific concept on agenda during Modi's Jakarta visit

  • Agnes Anya

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Tue, May 29, 2018   /   05:52 am
Indo-Pacific concept on agenda during Modi's Jakarta visit Prime Minister Narendra Modi Modi will be in Jakarta from Tuesday to Thursday at the invitation of Joko "Jokowi" Widodo. (AFP/Karel Prinsloo)

The Indo-Pacific geopolitical framework will be on the agenda during Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's historic visit to Jakarta to meet President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo.

On Monday, Indian Ambassador to Indonesia Pradeep Kumar Rawat said India shared similar views with Indonesia about the Indo-Pacific concept.

Modi will be in Jakarta from Tuesday to Thursday following an invitation from Jokowi.

Rawat said the Indo-Pacific had been on Jokowi's agenda when he visited New Delhi earlier this year for the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit. "The discussion will certainly continue [during Modi's Jakarta visit]," he said at a press briefing. 

Jokowi, along with the Foreign Ministry, has been intensively introducing Indonesia's own concept of Indo-Pacific cooperation, which is based on the following principles: “Open, transparent and inclusive, promoting a habit of dialogue, promoting cooperation and friendship and upholding international law”. 

The Indo-Pacific concept is a geopolitical framework that recognizes the economic power shift to Asia. Indo-Pacific refers to countries in the Indian and Pacific oceans. Global communities have several concepts regarding the Indo-Pacific framework, including the United States. Indonesia's concept is different due to, among others, an emphasis on ASEAN unity.

Apart from the Indo-Pacific concept, Modi and Jokowi are scheduled to discuss issues that “concerns both countries in this very fast developing global situation”.

"There are issues relating to maritime and economic development. The economic development of the world is still evolving. That will certainly be part of the dialogue," Rawat said, adding that the leaders would also underline cooperation in tourism to improve the two countries' people-to-people connection. 

Indonesia, he said, was India's largest trade partner in Southeast. Last year, for instance, trade between both countries amounted to US$18 billion. 

Apart from meeting Jokowi, Modi is planning to engage businesses and the Indian community in Jakarta. 

He will leave for Kuala Lumpur on Thursday for a brief stopover to meet newly elected Prime Minister Mahathir Mohammad.  He will then embark on a state visit to Singapore at the invitation of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong.