Jakarta (ANTARA) – Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and her Fijian counterpart Inia Batikoto Seruiratu, at a bilateral meeting, agreed that both nations would work towards deepening concrete economic cooperation in the Pacific region.
Marsudi met with Seruiratu on the sidelines of the 12th Bali Democracy Forum in Nusa Dua, Bali, according to a written statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received in Jakarta on Friday.
On the occasion, Seruiratu reiterated support for the Indonesian government’s commitment to intensifying cooperation with South Pacific nations, as a form of Indonesia’s contribution to security, peace, prosperity, and stability in the region.
Reflecting on the successful implementation of the Pacific Exposition in Auckland, New Zealand, in July 2019, the Government of Indonesia again invited its Fijian counterpart to collaborate in the Pacific Fair 2020 to be held by Indonesia.
The Pacific Fair 2020 is expected to yield more concrete partnerships in the economic field to maintain the positive momentum developed between Indonesia and the South Pacific countries during the Pacific Exposition.
Furthermore, both nations’ foreign ministers also deliberated on initial preparations for the establishment of the Indonesia-Fiji Preferential Trade Agreement (IF-PTA), a special trade agreement between the two countries.
The trade agreement is expected to be able to broaden opportunities for economic cooperation between both nations in the fields of investment, infrastructure, and connectivity.
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To this end, both parties expected that the initial stage of IF-PTA negotiations can be conducted in the first quarter of 2020.
The Indonesian government has continued to commit and strive to play a greater role in overcoming various challenges faced by countries in the Pacific region that are mostly islands. These challenges include the impacts of climate change, marine issues, and natural disasters.
In addition, the Indonesian government is keen to contribute to development in the Pacific region.