Uruguay to open embassy in Jakarta

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Uruguay is planning to open its embassy in Jakarta, Foreign Minister of Uruguay Rodolfo Nin Novoa has said.

"The fact that we are here means stronger diplomatic relations between Uruguay and Indonesia. We have discussed (a plan) to open an embassy in Jakarta," Foreign Minister Novoa stated here on Tuesday.

The minister's statement came after he held a bilateral meeting with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi at the Foreign Ministry Building.

This is the first visit of a Uruguayan foreign minister to Indonesia since the establishment of diplomatic relations between Uruguay and Indonesia in 1965.

On the occasion, Minister Novoa acknowledged that his visit to Indonesia indicated the strengthening of the bilateral relations of Indonesia and Uruguay.

"It is a matter of happiness that we are here for the first time after 51 years of diplomatic relations," he noted.

He expressed the view that Indonesia has made rapid progress and hoped that cooperation between the two countries would continue to be stepped up.

During the bilateral meeting, the two foreign ministers discussed cooperation in the peacekeeping force missions in the world, including between the peacekeeping centers of the two countries.

"Uruguay and Indonesia figure among the 20 biggest countries that contribute to the United Nations peacekeeping force. We have agreed to cooperate in the context of peacekeeping force," Minister Retno stressed.

The two ministers also agreed to encourage the efforts to have better people-to-people contact and provide a visa-free facility to Indonesians willing to visit Uruguay.

Indonesia and Uruguay also signed economic and technical cooperation agreements in various fields, especially trade; investment; agriculture; tourism; and micro-, small, and medium businesses, on Tuesday.

Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi signed the agreement on behalf of the Indonesian government, while Uruguay was represented by Foreign Minister Rodolfo Nin Novoa.

Minister Marsudi pointed out that the two countries had agreed to ramp up economic cooperation relations by boosting their volume of trade.

The bilateral trade between the two countries from January to July 2016 was valued at US$32.9 million. In 2015, it had reached $45.63 million.

While in Indonesia, the Uruguayan minister will also attend the opening of the Trade Expo Indonesia 2016 on October 12.

His delegation includes five businessmen operating in multi-product sectors and home decor.

"The visit of the business delegation was in response to the participation of Indonesian small and medium businesses in Expo Prado Uruguay 2009," Minister Marsudi reminded.

She underlined that the Indonesian government has been encouraging cooperation between the two countries private sectors to increase bilateral economic cooperation.(*)