Sochi, Russia (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo has met with Russian entrepreneurs to discuss opportunities in Indonesias transport, mining and energy sectors.

President Widodo held individual business meetings with the Russian entrepreneurs at the Radisson Blu Hotel in Sochi.

The president was accompanied by Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno LP Marsudi, State Owned Enterprises Minister Rini Soemarno, Trade Minister Thomas Lembong, and Minister of Marine and Fisheries Susi Pudjiastuti.

The Russian entrepreneurs who met with President Widodo included Executive Director of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerof, Executive Director of Blackspace Group Aleksandr Sergeevich Isaev, Executive Director of En + Group Maxim Sokov and Executive Director of Vi Holding Group Alexander Popov.

Director of Russian Railways Oleg Belozerof expressed his appreciation to President Widodo for the business and investment opportunities available in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, Blackspace Groups Aleksandr Sergeevich Isaev spoke of the groups commitment to increase their investments in Indonesia.

"Our company has been operating in Jakarta for one year," he noted.

En + Groups Sokov and Vi Holding Groups Popov said their companies have been operating in Indonesia in the mining sector.

The president added that he expects the Russian businessmen to increase their investments in Indonesia.

In addition, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said that President Widodo would also meet Prime Minister of Vietnam Nguyen Xuan Phuc to discuss bilateral relations between Indonesia and Vietnam.

In Sochi, President Widodo, along with nine heads of state and government from ASEAN countries, will attend a dinner at the Galaxy Culture Center, Krasnaya Polyana, with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

Earlier, President Widodo, during a meeting with President Putin, urged Russia to increase its palm oil imports from Indonesia.

"With regard to trade, we need to look for new ways to boost the exports of palm oil from Indonesia to Russia in the near future," President Jokowi stated, during a Wednesday evening meeting at the Russian presidents Bocharoc Rucey residence.

"Mr President, you are aware of the plans to increase the import tax on palm oil, which is the largest export commodity from Indonesia to Russia, with a value reaching US$480 million. Exports have fallen sharply, which is not favorable for our countrys economy," he pointed out.

"I hope that your policies, Mr President, will help ensure that Indonesian palm oil exports to Russia will increase in the near future," he noted.

Jokowi praised the bilateral relations between Indonesia and Russia, which were established sixty years ago.

"Our bilateral relations, which have a long-standing history going back to the days of President Soekarno, should be intensified now. I also hope that economic, political, and cultural ties will be expanded further," the Indonesian head of state remarked.

Additionally, Jokowi informed President Putin that Indonesia will purchase property in Moscow to function as the nations embassy, since the Indonesian embassy building is currently being renovated.

President Putin stated that Sochi held special significance for the two countries, since Indonesias first President, Soekarno, was a close friend of Russia and visited this city 60 years ago.

"I have fond memories of my visit to your country and the positive atmosphere created for our delegation during that visit. I hope that we will be able to reciprocate with our Russian hospitality during your visit," Putin stated.

The two leaders witnessed the signing of five memoranda of understanding, covering issues in defense, archiving, eliminating illegal fishing, and cultural exchanges.

President Jokowi remained at Putins residence from 6:10 p.m. to about 9 p.m. local time for the meeting and signing of the MoUs.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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