Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi announced on Thursday that Indonesia had agreed on a travel corridor arrangement with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to facilitate essential business trips, which included official and diplomatic visits.
The minister said Indonesia proposed the agreement after consulting with related government bodies, as well as their counterparts in the UAE.
“Last night, Indonesia and the UAE signed an agreement on an essential business travel corridor. The agreement is effective immediately,” Retno said on Thursday.
The travel corridor agreement, she added, was strictly for essential business travel such as businesspeople and diplomats, but not for tourists. The agreement would exempt them from a two-week quarantine measure upon traveling between the two countries.
The travelers would still be ordered to adhere to strict health protocols.
“We have set up arrangements [and requirements] for travelers to follow strict health protocols, including requiring them to take a COVID-19 PCR test prior to travel. Both countries would recognize the test result,” said Retno.
Health authorities would still check each traveler’s health condition upon arrival, the minister went on to say.
UAE Ambassador to Indonesia, Abdulla Salem Obaid Salem Al Dhaheri, said the travel corridor was necessary for the two countries’ economic cooperation during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The two countries will definitely help and conduct regular consultation involving relevant stakeholders to assist and review […] the operational services of the travel corridor agreement, improve its effectiveness and expand its application for tourism as well,” he said on Thursday.
Retno previously said a travel corridor agreement with the UAE was important to follow up economic agreements agreed upon between the two countries. The UAE is currently the country’s largest Middle Eastern investor, after pledging to invest around US$6.8 billion in several projects during Jokowi’s two-day trip to Abu Dhabi in January.
The Indonesian foreign minister further said the country was working on more travel corridor agreements with other countries, such as South Korea and China, as well as negotiating an ASEAN-wide travel bubble.