Jokowi to hold meeting with Jinping to boost economic cooperation

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) will hold a bilateral meeting with his Chinese counterpart Xi Jinping on the sidelines of the "Belt and Road Forum for International Cooperation" in Beijing on Sunday (May 14).

"The meeting will focus on increasing trade and investment cooperation and will also be a follow up of the agreements reached at the previous meeting between both heads of state back in 2016," Foreign Ministrys East Asia and Pacific Director Edi Yusup noted during a press briefing here on Friday.

Last year, China had agreed to open market access to Indonesian agricultural products, particularly swallow nest, dragon fruit, durian, and dairy products.

The exports of swallow nests to China had risen to US$36 million in 2016, and the trend continues to increase.

However, the Chinese market is yet to give access to Indonesian dragon fruit, durian, mangosteen, and pineapple due to the incomplete protocol agreement between both nations quarantine bodies of the Department of Agriculture.

"The protocol agreement is required for the exports of agricultural products. This is one of the things that we want to encourage," Yusup noted.

Other areas of cooperation that President Jokowi is keen to highlight during his bilateral talks with President Jinping relate to the feasibility studies of Indonesias infrastructure projects, such as ports, toll roads, Trans Sumatra and Trans Sulawesi railways, as well as the construction of dams.

A memorandum of understanding on the agreement on economic and technical cooperation will be signed between the Indonesian National Development Planning Board and the Chinese Ministry of Commerce.

"China will help Indonesia to finance the feasibility studies of our infrastructure projects," Yusup revealed.

In addition, Indonesia will invite Chinese investment in some national strategic projects, especially to boost industrial and tourism connectivity in North Sumatra and North Sulawesi, construction of the MRT East-West Line from Cikarang to Balaraja, as well as the construction of four dams in South Sulawesi, South Kalimantan, Riau, and South Sulawesi.(*)