President Joko Widodo attends ASEAN-Russia Business Forum Summit

Sochi, Russia (ANTARA News) - President Joko Widodo, along with nine other heads of state/government of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and Russian president Vladimir Putin, attended an ASEAN-Russia Business Forum Summit here on Friday.

He was the first to reach the meeting at Radisson Blu Congress Center and was welcomed by President Putin.

Other ASEAN heads of state/government or representatives attending the meeting included Vietnams Prime Minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Thai Prime Minister Prayuth Chan-o-cha, Prime Minister of Laos Thongloun Sisoulith, Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah of Brunei Darussalam, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, Myanmars President Htin Kyaw, Philippine Minister of Science and Technology Mario Montejo and Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen.

In his opening speech, President Putin said all countries need to see the common potentials for further economic cooperation.

"What can we do to increase our economic growth? How many cooperation agreements have been reached or would be continued?" he wondered.

He explained about a number of investment and business cooperation agreements that have been reached with several ASEAN countries, including Indonesia.

"We are also implementing railway development project in Kalimantan along with Indonesia with an investment worth US$1.9 billion," he informed.

Putin stated that he believed the business community forum and multidimensional participation would help expand ASEAN-Russia economy.

Indonesia had earlier signed several agreements based on government-to-government or business-to-business schemes.

When receiving courtesy calls from Russian business leaders, President Joko Widodo was briefed about potential bilateral agreements and pacts of cooperation between private parties and state-owned companies.

Pertamina and Rosneft have signed a cooperation agreement to develop an oil refinery in Tuban, East Java, with a total investment of US$13 billion.

Russian Railway, meanwhile, has also expressed its interest in making more investment in Indonesia.

The Indonesian and Russian governments have also agreed to cooperate in eradicating illegal fishing activities, improving archives, and working jointly in the fields of security, defense and counter-terrorism. (*)