New Australian prime minister eager to maintain close ties with Indonesia

New Australian prime minister eager to maintain close ties with Indonesia

Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison deliver a joint statement at the Bogor Presidential Palace on Friday (Aug 31, 2018). (Desca Lidya Natalia)

Bogor, W Java, (ANTARA News) - Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stressed that he will maintain his country`s close ties with Indonesia, just as his predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull, did.

"We have had excellent relations, including people-to-people contact. Both countries want to encourage the states and people to have closer relations," he said here on Friday.

Morrison said Indonesia is Australia`s important working partner in the region and the world.

"We have also taken a big step in economic relations today by ensuring Australia and Indonesia realize the existing economic opportunities. Of course, the Indonesian economy is important not only for Australia but the region and the world as well," he said.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Prime Minister Morrison also witnessed the signing of a joint declaration on the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership (IA-CEPA) by Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukito and Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham.

On the occasion, Birmingham also signed Memorandums of Understanding (MoUs) with Indonesian Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi and Chief of the Indonesian Creative Economic Board Triawan Munaf.

Meanwhile, Chief of the Indonesian Cyber and State Code Djoko Setiadi signed an MoU with Ambassador for Cyber Affairs at the Australian Foreign Ministry Tobias Feakin.

"We want to work together to promote the economies of the two countries. It is an honor for me to stand here in the first week of my term of office to show how close the relations between Australia and Indonesia are," Morrison said.

Indonesia is the first country visited by Morrison since he assumed the post of Australian prime minister last Friday (August 24), after Turnbull resigned from the parliament.

Morrison was formerly finance minister during the Turnbull government and minister of immigration and border security during the Tony Abbott government.

Reporting by Desca Lidya Natalia
Editing by Suharto