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JOINT PRESS STATEMENT: LEADERS' RETREAT BETWEEN PRIME MINISTER LEE HSIEN LOONG AND PRESIDENT OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA HIS EXCELLENCY DR SUSILO BAMBANG YUDHOYONO, SINGAPORE

 

1    Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono met in Singapore on 22 April 2013 for the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ Retreat. Prime Minister Lee and President Yudhoyono welcomed the good progress in bilateral relations since the Bogor Retreat in March 2012 and reiterated their commitment to strengthen and deepen Singapore-Indonesia ties.

2    The Leaders expressed satisfaction with the excellent economic partnership between Singapore and Indonesia. Bilateral trade has grown steadily over the last few years. Singapore continues to be the top foreign investor in Indonesia, while Indonesia is the second largest trading partner for Singapore amongst ASEAN member countries.

3    The Leaders expressed satisfaction at the progress of the bilateral economic Working Groups (WGs), which had been formed at the May 2010 Leaders’ Retreat. The WG on the Cooperation in the Islands of Batam, Bintan, and Karimun (BBK) and other Special Economic Zones (SEZs) and the WG on Investments have promoted investments into BBK and other regions including Java, Sumatra and Sulawesi. The Manpower WG has strengthened human resource training. The Air Connectivity WG has expanded air links between the two countries, while the Tourism WG continued to explore the potential of cruise tourism and MICE activities to increase bilateral tourist flows. The Agribusiness WG has strengthened partnerships between Singapore importers and Indonesian businesses and helped increase vegetable and seafood exports from Indonesia to Singapore.

4    The Leaders agreed to enhance economic linkages between the two countries. They encouraged their private sectors to collaborate on projects under Indonesia’s Master Plan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesia’s Economic Development (MP3EI). By leveraging on each other’s strengths, these joint investments will open up new opportunities and strengthen the productive capacity of both countries.

5    Prime Minister Lee and President Yudhoyono welcomed the good progress in the discussions on the maritime boundary between Indonesia and Singapore in the eastern part of the Strait of Singapore. The Leaders directed the officials to expedite their discussion for the early conclusion of maritime boundary delimitation. The next round of negotiations is scheduled for mid-2013.

6    The Leaders also welcomed the inaugural meeting of the Counter-Terrorism Cooperation WG (CTCWG), which will strengthen working relationships between the security agencies of Singapore and Indonesia. The Leaders recognised the continuing threat of terrorism and pledged to work closely to combat it. They encouraged the CTCWG to continue sharing experiences and discussing areas of mutual concern.

7    The Leaders welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Indonesia and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Singapore on Cooperation in the Field of Diplomatic Education and Training. The MOU will give both sides a platform to share experiences in the training and development of diplomats, and encourage more interaction and closer personal and professional links between the two diplomatic services.

8    The Leaders discussed developments in Southeast Asia and ASEAN. They underscored the importance of ASEAN unity to regional stability and reaffirmed their commitment to safeguard ASEAN centrality in the evolving regional architecture. They also discussed developments in the South China Sea and agreed that the disputes should be resolved peacefully and in accordance with international law, including UNCLOS. The Leaders reaffirmed the importance of establishing the ASEAN Economic Community by 31 December 2015, which will enhance regional economic growth and integration, and benefit all ASEAN Member States and peoples in the long term.

9    President Yudhoyono invited Prime Minister Lee to Indonesia for the next Retreat in 2014. Prime Minister Lee thanked President Yudhoyono for the invitation and said he looked forward to reviewing further progress in our cooperation and friendship at the meeting next year.


 



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