President Joko Widodo Met Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi, To Improve Indonesia-India Strategic Partnership

President Jokowi held a bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi New Delhi, India, on Thursday (25/1). (Photo: BPMI).

New Delhi, India - On the sidelines of the implementation of the ASEAN-India Summit, President Joko Widodo held a bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi in New Delhi, India on Thursday (25/1).

In the meeting, President Joko Widodo conveyed the importance of efforts to increase economic cooperation because bilateral trade between the two countries has enormous potential.

"Therefore efforts to increase trade should continue to be done including removing trade barriers," said the President.

Another matter conveyed by President Jokowi was the high increase of import duty tariff on vegetables oil commodity to India.

An increase in palm oil tariff will affect Indonesia's palm oil exports. "If Indonesia's palm oil exports are dwindling, I believe it will also affect the fulfillment of the growing Indian market," Presiden said.

Therefore, President Joko Widodo is expecting the Indian government to reconsider the tariff policy on vegetables oil.

As for the architecture of the Indo-Pacific region, President Jokowi would invite the key countries in the region to discuss the Indo Pacific concept.

"I suggest that this concept should be developed based on openness, inclusiveness, based on the spirit of cooperation," said President Jokowi.

As a very active country in IORA, President Jokowi believes PM Modi will agree to strengthen the IORA. "To make the Indian Ocean Circle be a stable and prosperous area," said President Joko Widodo.

President Joko Widodo also appreciated India's support for the ASEAN-led Mechanism included in the East Asia Summit (EAS).

"Indonesia has proposed the start of maritime cooperation in the EAS that is also supported by India," said President Joko Widodo.

For future planning, the maritime cooperation will be one of the priorities of cooperation between the two countries.

In this meeting, President Joko Widodo also said that Indonesia-India bilateral relations are getting stronger, especially since the meeting of President Joko Widodo with PM Modi in December 2016 in India.

"To maintain the momentum of this close cooperation, I invite PM Modi to visit Indonesia this year," said President Jokowi.

President Joko Widodo will invite PM Modi to discuss bilateral cooperation in detail while visiting Indonesia later.

Accompanying the President, the meeting was also attended by the Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution; the Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi; the Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung; the Special Staff Coordinator of President Teten Masduki; and the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to India Sidharto Suryodipuro. (