We are now in the transitional period between the first and second phases."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) received visiting Norwegian Foreign Affairs Minister Berge Brende at the Presidential Palace here on Tuesday.

During the courtesy visit to the Presidential Palace, the Norwegian foreign affairs minister was accompanied by the Norwegian ambassador to Indonesia, Director of Regional Relations Gunn Jorid Roset, Deputy Director of the Secretariat of MOFA Anne Kirsti Karlsen, and political adviser to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Norway Peter Egseth.

President Jokowi was accompanied by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, State Secretary Pratikno, and Chief of the Presidential Staff Teten Masduki.

During the meeting, the president emphasized that the cooperation between Indonesia and Norway was focused in the fields of environment and fisheries.

In the environmental field, the president hoped the Reducing Emission from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) program will be implemented as part of the cooperation.

Earlier, the Indonesian and Norwegian governments had agreed to strengthen partnership to reduce deforestation and forest degradation in line with the REDD+ program.

Under this partnership, Norway has injected US$1 billion in the REDD+ program to reduce carbon emissions.

The Indonesian foreign minister explained that REDD+ comprised three phases: preparation, transformation, and implementation.

"We are now in the transitional period between the first and second phases," she revealed.

The president urged the Norwegian government to closely cooperate with the Environment and Forestry Ministry and the Peatland Restoration Agency.

In terms of fisheries, Indonesia and Norway have cooperated to prevent illegal fishing and develop aquaculture and fishery management.

"The Norwegian government will increase cooperation with Indonesia in the trade and investment sectors," the minister remarked.

Earlier, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi had met her Norwegian counterpart Borge Brende for the second Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting here on Monday.

"Today, we will hold two meetings. The first is the 12th Indonesia-Norway Dialog on Human Rights, which is one of the important pillars of our bilateral relations, while the other is the second JCBC meeting," Minister Marsudi stated.

The first JCBC meeting was held in Oslo on June 17, 2015, and produced an agreement to increase cooperation in the maritime and fishery sector and efficiency in the bilateral dialog mechanism.

During the second JCBC meeting, the two ministers discussed ways to boost cooperation in three main areas: trade and investment, maritime and fishery, and environment.

Indonesia has pushed for greater access for its products in the Norwegian market and increased cooperation between the business players of both countries.

"With regard to trade and investment, there has been an increase in the value of trade reaching almost $300 million in 2015, but there is still room for further development of bilateral trade," she stated.

"We have encouraged Norwegian investment in maritime and infrastructure projects in Indonesia," she pointed out.

Norway is Indonesias second-biggest trade partner among the Nordic countries and the 12th-biggest in Europe.

The value of trade between Indonesia and Norway reached $291.9 million in 2015, while the value of direct investment from that country in the year in the areas of water exploitation, basic chemical industries, and renewable energy reached $1.8 million.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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