Jokowi, King Salman agree to strengthen economic cooperation: minister

Jokowi, King Salman agree to strengthen economic cooperation: minister

President Joko Widodo met King Salman in Riyadh on Sunday (April 14, 2019). (Laily Rachev - Biro Pers Sekretariat Presiden)

Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and King Salman bin Abdulazis al-Saud of Saudi Arabia have agreed to strengthen the two countries' economic cooperation, Foreign Minister Retno L.P.Marsudi said.

She was quoted as saying after accompanying President Jokowi during his meeting with King Salman here on Sunday afternoon that the economic cooperation would be continued to get strengthened, particularly in energy and tourism sectors.

As revealed in a statement made available to ANTARA by Head of the Presidential Protocol and Press Bureau Bey Machmudin, at the meeting, Jokowi also expressed his high appreciation to King Salman for a 10,000 additional hajj pilgrimage quota for Indonesia.

"King Salman also appreciated Indonesia's leadership in maintaining stability in the region and the world as well as Indonesia's leadership in the Islamic World," Retno Marsudi was quoted as saying.

The conversation of the two heads of state during the bilateral meeting which took place at King Salman's private palace reflected the closeness between them, she said.

At the meeting, the incumbent president who had finished the final round of presidential debate with his contender Prabowo Subianto ahead of the convening of the presidential race on April 17 on Saturday evening was also accompanied by several top officials.

Besides Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, he was also accompanied by Presidential Chief of Staff Moeldoko, Presidential Special Staff Abdul Ghofarrozin, and Indonesian Ambassador to Saudi Arabia Agus Maftuh Abegebriel.

Indonesia and Saudi Arabia have been enjoying a strong bilateral ties for decades. In March 2017, King Salman made a historic visit to Indonesia as it was the first time a sitting Saudi King visited Indonesia in 47 years.

The visit was also perceived as memorable as enthusiastic crowds always lined the routes of the King's convoy to welcome and greet the 84-year-old King while visiting Jakarta, Bogor, and Bali.

The King and his 1,500-member entourage that included 25 princes, 10 ministers, and businessmen, stayed for 12 days in Indonesia that comprised a three-day state visit and an eight-day vacation in Bali, one of the world's most famous tourist islands.

The state visit was productive as eleven memorandums of understanding (MoUs) was signed by high ranking officials of Indonesia and Saudi Arabia.

One of the MoUs is the commitment of the Saudi government to invest in a project development worth US$1 billion, called The Saudi Fund Contribution to the Financing of Development Project. Besides the 11 MoUs, both countries have also agreed to conduct annual Joint Commission meetings.

In connection with Indonesia's palm oil products, Saudi Arabia is believed to remain a potential importer.

As ever revealed by Indonesian Palm Oil Producers' Association Chief Joko Supriyono, Indonesia still has a good opportunity to increase palm oil exports to the country as it still supplied only 30 percent of Saudi's vegetable oil demand.

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