Jakarta (ANTARA) - President of Senegal, Macky Sall, commended Indonesia's role in supporting infrastructure development in his country through the plans to build the multifunctional building, Tower of Goree (Tour de Goree), and the sale of CN-235 aircraft.

President Sall made the statement while receiving the visit of Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Dakar, Senegal, on Monday (Dec 2). During the meeting, both parties were on the same page on the need to deepen bilateral cooperation in the areas of infrastructure, strategic industries, mining, and economy.

According to a statement from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs received here, Tuesday, Minister Marsudi has also called on President Sall to offer ease in visa schemes for private sectors to boost visitor arrivals in Senegal, as the economic cooperation between Indonesia and Senegal deepens.

After the meeting, Minister Marsudi, along with Senegal's PSE minister, bore witness to the inking of the First Phase Contract for the Tour de Goree project that was earlier agreed upon during the Indonesia-Africa Infrastructure Dialogue in Bali in August.

The signing between PT WIKA and the Senegalese party initiated the commencement of the 250-million euro project. The Tour de Goree project is the start of several collaborative infrastructure projects between Indonesia and Senegal and will be a landmark for the holding of the 2022 Youth Olympic Games in Dakar.

On the sidelines of the meeting in Senegal, several state-owned enterprises -- PT WIKA, PT Dirgantara Indonesia, PT Timah, and Indonesia Eximbank -- also held a series of meetings in the fields of infrastructure, mining and strategic industries until December 3.

Senegal have offered several cooperation opportunities, including the construction of bridges, renovation of military airports, opportunities to purchase CN-235 aircraft, and discussion of mining cooperation, such as phosphate. More detailed discussion will ensue, especially pertaining to the projects' financing schemes.

In Dakar, Minister Marsudi also addressed an international conference organized by the Senegalese Government, in collaboration with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) on sustainable development.

Marsudi is the only foreign minister invited as one of the speakers to share Indonesia's success story in development and investment cooperation with various countries in Africa, as well as on President Joko Widodo's economic policy, which was viewed as pertinent for several parties in Africa to emulate.

On the sidelines of the conference, Marsudi spoke with President of Burkina Faso Roch Marc Christian Kaboré, who invited Indonesia to collaborate on several priority infrastructure projects in his country.

Marsudi also spoke with Prime Minister of Mali, Boubou Cisse, and deliberated on the significance of creating peace and security to drive economic growth.

Furthermore, she held a meeting with Deputy Secretary General of the United Nations, Amina Mohammed to hold discussions on sustainable development goals (SDGs), women's empowerment, and climate change.

Both parties concurred on the significance of cross-sector discussion and collaboration to handle the issue of renewable energy sources, boost the participation of the young generation and women in various platforms, and encourage expedited efforts and policies to achieve the SDGs 2030 targets.

This was Minister Marsudi's first visit to Africa in her time serving in the Indonesia Onward Cabinet. During the earlier administration of President Joko Widodo, she had paid a visit to several African countries, including South Africa, Ivory Coast, Mozambique, and Nigeria.

The series of visits amplify President Widodo's vision and mission to enhance the role of the Indonesian economy at the global level, including in Africa, among others.

In the face of this mission, economic diplomacy ranks high in the list of priorities for Indonesia’s foreign policy during the 2019-2024 administration by gaining inroads into non-traditional markets.

Strong historical ties between Indonesia and Africa, since the 1955 Asian-African Conference, continued to enhance and transformed into concrete economic cooperation that is mutually beneficial.

As a follow up, the Indonesia-Africa Forum was held in 2018, followed by the Indonesia-Africa Infrastructure Dialogue in 2019. During these two activities, discussions on trade in goods and services were held to strengthen exports and expand market access through the establishment of a preferential trade agreement (PTA) and in the field of investment, including infrastructure development and exports of strategic industrial products, mining, and energy and strengthening Indonesia's diplomatic infrastructure in Africa. Related news: Indonesia welcomes Senegal`s offer to participate in its development projects
Related news: PT WIKA inks agreement to construct US$250-million tower in Senegal


Translator: Yashinta Difa Pramudyani/Aria
Editor: Suharto
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