Indonesia and India are working to find a new strategy to achieve a bilateral trade target of US$50 billion within the next five years, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said as she sought to strengthen Indonesia’s palm oil exports to India.
Together with her Indian counterpart Subrahmanyam Jaishankar, Retno cochaired the sixth Joint Commission Meeting in New Delhi on Friday –– during which they renewed the economic commitment.
“Through this meeting, the two countries are determined to increase cooperation, especially through a new strategy to achieve a bilateral trade target of US$50 billion in 2025,” Retno said in a press statement.
The meeting follows a discussion between President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit last month, during which they agreed to find measures to achieve the trade target –– which was first announced last year. The two leaders have also agreed to try to balance trade, as well as work together on oil palm issues and bilateral cooperation under the Indo–Pacific concept.
Retno and Jaishankar also discussed concrete collaboration on improving connectivity in Aceh and the Andaman–Nicobar Islands, including through developing infrastructure in Sabang. In addition, they also discussed efforts to strengthen partnerships in the trade, tourism and education sectors as the implementation of an action plan that was produced in Aceh last week.
Furthermore, the two ministers also reiterated the commitment to strengthening the Indonesia–India Comprehensive Strategic Partnership in defense and security, particularly cooperation in the defense industry, as well as in people–to–people contact by exploring potential direct flights between Indonesia and India.
In her mission on economic diplomacy, Retno held meetings with Indian businesses including the Solvent Extractors’ Association and a number of palm oil businesspeople to gain a better understanding of India’s economic prospects and insights to strengthen Indonesia’s palm exports.
India is currently Indonesia’s main destination for its palm oil exports, with total palm oil exports to India in the first half of this year standing at 2.13 million tons.
Another of Retno’s meeting in New Delhi involved the Indian Chamber of Commerce (ICC), the Confederation of Indian Industries (CII) and leaders of textile producer Indorama, which is based in Indonesia and founded by Indian–born–Indonesian Sri Prakash Lohia. The talks were aimed at getting insights on the business climate, Indonesia’s investment opportunities in India and Indian investment interests in Indonesia.
In New Delhi, Retno also delivered a keynote speech at the 11th Delhi Dialogue, where she talked about Indonesia’s role in encouraging the implementation of concrete and inclusive cooperation within the Indo–Pacific concept.
She said India and Indonesia were the largest economies in their respective regions, and, therefore, they could play key roles in creating a peaceful, stable and prosperous Indo–Pacific region.