"With the enactment of Bangsamoro Organic Law, there will be not only an autonomous government but also economic activities. As a neighboring country, the Philippines expects Indonesia to join the regional economic development," Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said after a closed-door bilateral meeting with Philippine Secretary of Foreign Affairs Alan Peter S. Cayetano in Jakarta on Monday.
Retno mentioned that aside from the construction sector, Cayetano is also looking for more Indonesian investment in Philippine micro, small and medium enterprise (MSMEs) and plantations.
"He (Cayetano) has high hopes for Indonesia because we are experienced in investing the Philippines and share cultural similarities with the southern Philippines," Retno noted.
In addition to Indonesian investment, the two foreign ministers also discussed the delimitation of the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between Indonesia and the Philippines.
As Indonesia has already ratified the delimitation agreement in 2016, Retno urged the Philippines government to accelerate the ratification process.
"Hopefully, the exchange of ratification documents could be done in September or November," Rent remarked, referring to the upcoming UN General Assembly in September in New York and the ASEAN Summit in November in Singapore.
Besides bilateral issues, the closed-door meeting addressed other issues such as South China Sea and counter-terrorism as well.
Bangsamoro Organic Law was passed on July 26 and became effective on Aug 10 this year. It regulates the establishment of the Bangsamoro Autonomous Region on Mindanao Island in the southern Philippines. The Philippine law aims at providing a basic government structure that recognizes Filipino Muslims and all indigenous communities in the autonomous region.
Reporting by Chi Jo-yao
Editing by Andi Abdussalam