Indonesia, Costa Rica discuss efforts to strengthen relations

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi held a bilateral meeting with her counterpart from Costa Rica, Manuel Gonzalez Sanz, here on Sunday to discuss efforts to strengthen two countries relations.

"This is the first visit to Jakarta by Costa Rican Foreign Minister Manuel Gonzalez Sanz. This year we commemorate the 32nd year of diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Costa Rica," Retno remarked at the Pancasila Building of Foreign Affairs Ministry on Pejambon street.

In the bilateral meeting, Retno and Gonzales discussed the cooperation between Indonesia and Costa Rica in various fields, one of them is trade.

"We discussed the priority of trade cooperation. The trade volume between the two countries is still not high but there is an upward trend, and in 2016 the trade value of both countries increased 97 percent compared to the previous year," Retno said.

According to her, the positive trend in trade between the two countries is agreed to continue to be improved through the use of Costa Ricas position as an entrance for the Central American market. The value of bilateral trade between Indonesia and Costa Rica increased almost doubled in 2016 to 59.6 million US dollars compared to 2015 which only reached 30.2 million US dollars.

As a fellow oil palm producing country, the Indonesian Foreign Minister invited Costa Rica to join the initiative of the Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) to jointly promote the sustainable palm oil industry.

In addition, the Minister of Foreign Affairs expressed interest in Indonesias strategic industry, namely PT. INKA, to take part in the Costa Rican railway project that connects the Pacific and Atlantic Oceans, as well as the airport railroad project in San Jose.

Furthermore, the two Foreign Ministers also discussed the cooperation in the field of new and renewable energy.

The Government of Costa Rica is committed to offering training on the utilization of hydro and geothermal energy to Indonesia. It is beneficial to support Indonesias program in meeting the national electricity capacity development target of 35,000 MegaWatt.

Other issues discussed in the two countries bilateral meeting are on climate change and nuclear disarmament.(*)