Meeting the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Papua New Guinea, Retno emphasized RI’s support for the Pacific

Meeting the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Papua New Guinea, Retno emphasized RI's support for the Pacific

Jakarta (Reportase One) – Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi reaffirmed Indonesia’s support for Pacific countries, in a bilateral meeting with Papua New Guinea Foreign Minister Justin Tkatchenko.

“Papua New Guinea is Indonesia’s strategic partner in establishing deeper partnerships with Pacific countries,” said Foreign Minister Retno when delivering a press statement with Foreign Minister Tkatchenko in Jakarta, Tuesday.

During the meeting, the two foreign ministers exchanged views on the progress of bilateral relations in various fields.

The Government of Indonesia welcomes Papua New Guinea’s ratification of two bilateral agreements, namely the Agreement on Visa Exemption for Diplomatic and Service Passport Holders and the Basic Agreement on Border Arrangements.

Foreign Minister Retno specifically discussed bilateral trade cooperation, which has shown a positive trend in the last five years.

Apart from that, according to him, the reopening of the post-pandemic Wutung-Skouw border has also contributed to an increase in the number of visits by Papua New Guineans to Skouw Market which is located in Papua Province.

“We still have sufficient space to expand our bilateral trade, beyond cross-border trade, including through simplification of licensing, facilitating a stronger logistics network, and establishing the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea Joint Business Council,” said Retno.

Also read: RI-Papua New Guinea will reopen trade on the Skouw border

The two countries, he said, also agreed to take concrete steps to start negotiating a special trade agreement.preferential trade agreement/PTA), and Indonesia are committed to speeding up the process by preparing a joint feasibility study that will incorporate the views of both countries.

“We also discussed the possibility of cooperation in involving Indonesian SOEs to invest in Papua New Guinea, including in the energy sector, telecommunications services and the pharmaceutical industry,” said Retno.

Furthermore, Retno reiterated Indonesia’s commitment to support development in Pacific countries, including in Papua New Guinea, one of which is through organizing IndonesiaPacific Forum for Development (IPFD) in Bali in December 2022.

The IPFD is a platform for driving greater engagement between Indonesia and the Pacific, as well as defining project areas that will support development and prosperity in the Pacific.

“And we are also committed to continuing cooperation in revitalizing public and health facilities in Vanimo and Port Moresby,” Retno said, adding that Indonesia would continue to support educational cooperation by offering scholarships to Papua New Guineans.

Also read: Indonesia is ready to support Papua New Guinea in building national health resilience

Pacific Region
As part of the Pacific, according to Retno, Indonesia will continue to ensure that the Pacific region becomes an inseparable part of a stable and prosperous Indo-Pacific.

As Chair of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) this year, Indonesia aims to promote closer engagement between ASEAN and Pacific countries, including by encouraging cooperation between the ASEAN Secretariat and the Pacific Islands Forums (PIF).

The Indonesian government invites Pacific countries, including Papua New Guinea, to participate in the Indo-Pacific Infrastructure Forum (IPIF) as a forum to encourage concrete cooperation between countries in the Indo-Pacific.

“We share the same vision that the voice of the Pacific must be heard in overcoming common global challenges such as climate change disaster management and the blue economy,” said Retno.

“Indonesia is firmly committed to this goal and will continue to bridge the Pacific to the world,” he said.

Foreign Minister Retno also emphasized that Papua New Guinea will always be one of Indonesia’s closest neighbors and strategic partners.

“Indonesia is ready to continue to foster close cooperation based on mutual respect, trust and benefits,” he said.

Also read: RI-Papua New Guinea explore opportunities for transportation cooperation

Also read: OAP in Papua New Guinea support Papua to remain Indonesia’s sovereign territory

Reporter: Yashinta Difa Pramudyani
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga


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