"Regarding health cooperation, I have conveyed that Indonesia is ready to support the efforts of Papua New Guinea to strengthen national resilience in the health field, through partnership between the two countries' drug and food authorities," President Jokowi stated during a joint press conference with visiting PNG Prime Minister Jams Marape at the Bogor Palace here on Thursday.
Moreover, several Indonesian pharmaceutical companies expressed interest in entering PNG's market, Jokowi remarked.
Indonesia's medicine exports to PNG are expected to further boost the bilateral trade value between PNG and Indonesia that had increased 87 percent in 2021, from the value in the previous year, according to the president.
The bilateral trade balance between the two countries last year surpassed the trade value prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, he added.
Prime Minister Marape lauded the Indonesian Government for its active role by always being present to assist PNG during crisis situations, including the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Hence, we feel it is necessary to invite the Indonesian Government to visit Port Moresby next year to hold the annual meeting routinely," he stated.
Marape and his wife, Rachaiel Marape, as well PNG's delegation arrived in Indonesia on Wednesday and were scheduled to return to Port Moresby on Thursday evening.
At the meeting with Marape, Jokowi was accompanied by Coordinator Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Mahfud MD, Minister of State Secretary Pratikno, State-Owned Minister Erick Thohir, Trade Minister Muhammad Lutfi, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs Mahendra Sieregar, and Indonesian Ambassador to PNG and Solomon Islands Andriana Supandy, among others.
Related news: Indonesia hands over repaired aircraft engine to PNG defence force
Related news: Indonesia, PNG concur on resumption of cross-border trade