Indonesia, Singapore agree to develop tourism cooperation

Indonesia, Singapore agree to develop tourism cooperation

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) with Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong (left) in Semarang, Central Java, Monday (Nov. 14, 2016). (ANTARA/R. Rekotomo)

We hail the cooperation in the tourism sector that has just been signed."
Semarang (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Singapore agreed to develop cooperation in the tourism sector through the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in Semarang, Central Java, on Monday.

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong witnessed the signing of the MoU by Indonesian Minister of Tourism Arief Yahya and Singapore Industry Minister S. Iswaran, representing the Singapore Tourism Board (STB).

Jokowi, in his statement after the signing of the MoU, said the cooperation will strengthen ties in the tourism sector, including the development of new tourism destinations in Indonesia.

"We hail the cooperation in the tourism sector that has just been signed," Jokowi said.

In the meantime, Minister Arief Yahya said the cooperation, which will be developed, covered three areas. "There are three areas of Indonesian-Singapore cooperation in the tourism sector, namely joint marketing, cruise ships and MICE (Meeting, Incentive, Convention, Exhibition).

Works that could be done are the development of ports and destinations, the development of human resources, cooperation in the private sector, and exchange of information.

Yahya said that both countries did no need a long time in the process of reaching the signing of the MoU.

"This is the fastest signing of MoU that Singapore has ever made," said Leong Yue Kheong, Assistant Chief Executive of Singapore Tourism Board.

Since 2010, Singapore has shown its interest to cooperate in the development of cruise ship business, but Indonesia was still calculating the advantages and disadvantages of the cooperation with Singapore.

It was in the era of Jokowi did Indonesia decide to give priority to cooperation in the tourism sector with Singapore.

Earlier, Jokowi and Lee Hsien Loong held a bilateral meeting at Perdamaian Guesthouse, Semarang, Central Java.

Jokowi, who was accompanied by First Lady Iriana Joko Widodo, arrived at the guesthouse at 9.30 am after flying directly from Jakarta. He arrived ahead of the Lees arrival.

Lee and his wife Ho Ching arrived at the guesthouse at around 9:50 am. He was accompanied by Central Java Ganjar Pranowo to walk into the guesthouse.

After the welcoming ceremony, Jokowi and Lee directly held a bilateral meeting at the guesthouse.

As planned, the meeting includes a number of activities, including Indonesia-Singapore "Leaders Retreat Tete-a-Tete," a bilateral meeting, as well as signing of the MoU on the results of cooperation between the government of Indonesia and Singapore.

After luncheon, Jokowi and Lee and his entourage are also scheduled to attend the official opening of Kendal Park Industrial Estate By the Bay, which is located in Kendal District, Central Java Province.

The president and Lee are scheduled to make an observation tour in this area before returning to Semarang.

The president and the First Lady are scheduled to return to Jakarta at night by the Indonesian Presidential Aircraft-1.

Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Minister/State Secretary Pratikno, Tourism Minister Arief Yahya, and the Head of Capital Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Thomas Lembong accompanied the president during the flight to Semarang.