President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) welcomed bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and the Netherlands in various fields, including the business sector, which has offered several agreements worth some US$ 1 billion dollars, or approximately Rp14.3 trillion.
The agreements, including those on sustainable palm oil, women's issues, peace and security, and infectious disease control, have already been signed, President Jokowi said during a joint press conference with Dutch King Willem-Alexander at the Bogor Palace on Tuesday.
Warmly welcoming the state visit of King Willem Alexander and Queen Maxima, President Jokowi said the Netherlands is one of Indonesia's important and strategic partners on the European continent in the trade, investment and tourism sectors.
At the joint-press conference, King Willem Alexander said his state visit was joined by representatives of more than 100 Dutch companies who offer opportunities to strengthen business and investment cooperation with their Indonesian counterparts.
The Dutch Embassy in Jakarta announced earlier that some 180 representatives from 130 Dutch companies and educational institutions joined a parallel economic mission during the state visit of King Willem-Alexander and Queen Máxima to Indonesia from March 9 to 13.
The economic mission to Jakarta and Surabaya was led by Netherlands Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation Sigrid Kaag, Minister of Infrastructure and Water Management Cora van Nieuwenhuizen, Minister of State Sybilla Dekker, and Vice Minister of Agriculture, Nature, and Food Quality Jan Kees Goet.
The Netherlands was also keen to partner with Indonesia to create smart solutions in solving global challenges. Both Indonesia and the Netherlands face common challenges in various fields, the Dutch embassy said in a press statement.
Among these challenges are the impact of climate change on coastal protection and water resources, the accessibility of healthcare, the shift to a circular economy, and increasing pressure on food production systems.
"This mission will offer opportunities for companies and institutions of the two countries to exchange knowledge and expertise in finding smart and innovative solutions together," the Dutch embassy said.
During their five-day visit, the participating representatives of the Dutch enterprises and educational institutions focused on boosting cooperation with their Indonesian counterparts in five sectors.
The five sectors include agriculture and food, life sciences and health, maritime, integrated coastal zones and water management, circular economy, water technology, as well as aviation.
Indonesia and the Netherlands have a longstanding economic relationship through mutual trade and investments. This mission aims to strengthen existing economic ties between the two countries and provide a platform for new economic opportunities.
As part of the scheduled programs, on Tuesday a Netherlands Trade Dinner, expected to be joined by some 500 Dutch and Indonesian businesses and educational institutions, was held in Jakarta's Shangri-la Hotel Jakarta.
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In terms of bilateral trade and investment, the Netherlands is important for Indonesia because it is the fifth-largest investor and trading partner, which has allowed Indonesia to enjoy a surplus of trade.
This was noted by Dutch Ambassador to Indonesia Lambert Grijns when he received eight Indonesian journalists who visited the Netherlands from February 15 to 21. Indonesia's surplus of trade was recorded at EUR1,806 million (2019).
At the same time, with a total investment of US$2.6 billion, the Netherlands is also the fifth largest investor in Indonesia, behind Singapore ($6.5 billion), China ($4.7 billion), Japan ($4.3 billion), and Hong Kong ($2.9 billion).
In the tourism sector, the contribution of the Dutch to Indonesia's foreign tourist arrivals is considerable because, last year alone the Indonesian Embassy in Den Haag noted there were 202,116 Dutch travelers who visited Indonesia.
During their 17-day length of stay in 2019, Dutch tourists spent some US$1,866, on average.
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