Indonesia, Samoa agree to strengthen cooperation among PIF countries

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Samoa have agreed to strengthen cooperation among Pacific Island Forum (PIF) member states, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said in a press statement released on Tuesday.

"Indonesia is committed to strengthening bilateral relations with South Pacific countries, including Samoa, based on mutual benefit and mutual respect," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said.

Marsudi made the remarks after holding bilateral talks with her Samoan counterpart, Tuilaepa Sailele Malielegaoi, on the sidelines of the 72nd UN General Assembly held in New York, the US, on Monday (Sept 18).

To increase the bilateral relations with Samoa, the two countries can focus on the agricultural, fisheries, and tourism sectors as well as on disaster mitigation efforts, Marsudi stated.

The two ministers also discussed cooperation in capacity building in the fields of information, communication, and technology.

"Indonesia is ready to help Samoa by providing technical training and capacity building in the fields of information, communication, and technology," she noted.

At the meeting, she also warmly welcomed the recent visit by several Samoan high-ranking officials, including Agriculture and Fisheries Minister Leuatea Polataivao Fossie Schmidt Laauli and Communication, Information and Technology Minister Afanasaga Lepuiai Rico Tupai, to Indonesia.

She further praised Tupai for his attendance at the commemoration of the 72nd Indonesian Independence Day and participation in a fun walk to mark the Indonesian Foreign Ministrys anniversary.

The Indonesian minister underscored the importance of meetings between officials of the two countries, which are expected to encourage cooperation in many sectors, particularly trade and investment.(*)