Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is seeking to enhance bilateral cooperation with Luxembourg following the visit of the latters Foreign Affairs Minister Jean Asselborn to the country.

Asselborn was received by Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi during a bilateral meeting at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here on Tuesday.

"During the meeting, we discussed the progress in our bilateral relations. We are happy to observe a significant increase in our trade," Minister Marsudi remarked.

In 2016, the value of trade between Indonesia and Luxembourg had increased by 72 percent as compared to 2015, while the investment value experienced an increase of 170 percent during the same period, Marsudi noted.

Both ministers have agreed to accelerate the finalization of the ASEAN-EU Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement for which two negotiations had been held, while the third negotiation is scheduled in September 2017.

Minister Marsudi also utilized the bilateral opportunity to express concern over the rising negative campaign and discrimination against Indonesian palm oil in the EU and has requested Luxembourg to encourage offering fair and non-discriminatory treatment to Indonesian palm oil.

Indonesia will hold an Indonesian investment road show to Europe, including in Luxembourg, in October 2017, and Luxembourg will also send its business delegation to Indonesia to strengthen economic relations and cooperation between both countries.

Both ministers have agreed to finalize the draft of the memorandum of understanding on air service agreement to be signed in September 2017 in Bali

Furthermore, the ministers discussed other potential areas of cooperation, such as in finance, especially Sharia banking, and the satellite industry.

Minister Asselborn said that Luxembourg has become the first center for Islamic finance in Europe and an important player in the fields of satellite industry and digital connectivity.

Luxembourgs advanced satellite industry is expected to be able to improve connectivity in the large archipelago of Indonesia.

"It could be of great use to the Indonesian authority to monitor its territorial waters against, for instance, illegal fishermen," Asselborn emphasized.

Indonesia and Luxembourg have also inked a mutual support agreement for Indonesias candidacy for non-permanent membership of the UN Security Council for the 2019-2020 period and for Luxembourgs candidacy for the 2031-2032 period.

Marsudi and Asselborn also discussed the recent situations in Europe and Southeast Asia, and both agreed on the importance of promoting pluralism, harmony, and tolerance across all races, genders, and religions.(*)

Editor: Heru Purwanto
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