President discusses economy with European Commission vice president

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Vice-President of the European Commission Federica Mogherini discussed a number of issues, including ways to expand cooperation in the economic sector between Indonesia and the European Union.

"The European Union is one of Indonesias traditional partners for trade, investment and tourism," the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Retno Marsudi, stated. She accompanied the president while receiving Mogherini who had come to the State Palace, Jakarta, on Friday, to pay a courtesy call.

The minister explained that in the meeting, they discussed the fact that EU was now Indonesias 4th largest bilateral trade partner.

According to Retno, the total value of bilateral trade in 2015 between Indonesia and the EU was over US$26 billion.

Meanwhile, the total value of the EU investment in Indonesia amounted to $2.26 billion. This figure makes the EU the 3rd biggest investor group in Indonesia.

Around a million tourists visited Indonesia in 2015 from the EU countries.

"In the context of trade and investment, a lot of opportunities remain to be explored," Retno said.

The minister explained that President Joko Widodo and Mogherini also discussed the prospects of expanding cooperation opportunities through the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA).

Indonesia discussed the reference in the scope paper which contains the principles of CEPA negotiations.

"Hopefully, the Trade Minister, on his return from Brussels, would be able to complete our scoping paper to be submitted back to the EU," Retno said, adding the meeting also discussed issues related to global security and humanity.(*)