Quito, Ecuador: The Indonesian and Ecuadorian Delegations met at the 3rd Bilateral Consultative Forum (BCF) and the 3rd Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) in Quito (19/9), after the last meeting (2nd BCF/JCM) that was held in 2011 in Jakarta.
The head of Ecuador's Delegates, Ambassador Lourdes Puma who is also the Under Secretary for African, Asian and Oceanian Affairs of the Ecuador Ministry of Foreign Affairs said that Indonesia is one of Ecuador's priorities in conducting the foreign relations and international cooperation.
Meanwhile, the head of Indonesian Delegates, the Director General of America and Europe of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Muhammad Anshor reiterated Indonesia's commitment to continuously improve cooperation both in bilateral, regional and multilateral forum.
"The two countries agreed on the importance of continuing to improve bilateral relations through concrete cooperation programs in various sectors, especially in trade and investment, agriculture, defense and strategic industries," said Ambassador Anshor.
In addition, since Indonesia and Ecuador are both located in earthquake-prone areas, the two countries have also agreed to realize the cooperation of Disaster Risk Mitigation. "There will be a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) of such cooperation that will be done in the near future," he added.
The two countries also agreed on trade and investment as one of the priorities of bilateral relations. In order to increase the bilateral trade, Anshor said, it has been agreed to continue pushing the implementation of the first meeting of the Working Group on Trade and Investment which is planned to be held in 2018.
Indonesia and Ecuador recorded an increase in trade volume in 2016. Nevertheless both delegations stressed the needs to continue increasing the trade volume considering the still large potential of bilateral cooperation between RI and Ecuador in trade.
Potential markets for Indonesian products include beauty/spa products, military defense equipment, and processed foods. Ambassador Anshor said that the efforts to increase trade can be done by intensifying business contacts between the two countries, expanding market access, participation at annual trade fairs and promoting the trade promotion of the two countries.
Other Cooperation Sectors
In the field of military defense, the two countries agreed to encourage the signing of a Letter of Intent (LoI) of defense cooperation in the near future. Indonesia also invited Ecuador to cooperate in the training of peacekeeping forces. The cooperation in the strategic industry sector has also pioneered by PT Dirgantara Indonesia with its counterpart in Ecuador.
In the Agricultural sector, it was agreed to cooperate in the field of excellence of each country. The Ecuador Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock expressed its interest in cooperation, among others in the palm oil plantation sector through the implementation of training workshops (biodiesel and innovative technology, and sustainable production practices).
Other important sectors of common concern and appointed at the JCM meeting were law, public housing, higher education, telecommunications, mining, fisheries, and tourism.
Indonesia welcomed Ecuador's offer to Indonesian businessmen to invest in public housing and telecommunications. In the tourism sector, Indonesia emphasized the needs to encourage the cooperation between the tour operators and travel agencies in the two countries that have been running at this time to increase tourist visits to each countries.
Indonesia also welcomed Ecuador's interest to learn from Indonesia's experience in tourism, considering that the tourist visits to Ecuador have just reached only about 1.5 million tourists per year, while tourists to Indonesia have reached more than 8 million tourists per year.
At the end of the meeting, the two Heads of Delegates affirmed the importance of the realization of the agreements produced by the above BCF and JCM meetings.
The Head of the Indonesian Delegates also had the opportunity to do courtesy call to the Deputy of Foreign Minister of Ecuador as the Acting Minister of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Rolando Suarez, on the sidelines of JCM and BCF. The Deputy Prime Minister of Ecuador specifically expressed his interest to increase the trade between Indonesia and Ecuador and encouraged the initiative of cooperation between both countries' airlines that can shorten the route of Indonesia-Ecuador. (Source: The Indonesian Embassy in Quitto).