...I would also like to highlight that there are a number of issues, such as climate change, which we are both facing as archipelagic countries.
Badung, Bali (ANTARA) - The Indonesian Tourism and Creative Economy Ministry is collaborating with the government of Fiji Islands to develop a quality and sustainable tourism sector that can improve the economy and open employment opportunities.

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) on the cooperation was inked by Indonesian Tourism and Creative Economy Minister Sandiaga Salahuddin Uno with his Fiji Islands counterpart, Faiyaz Siddiq Koya, on the sidelines of the second meeting of the G20 Tourism Working Group (TWG) here on Friday.

The TWG is one of the working groups organized under the Sherpa Track to encourage G20 countries to expedite the recovery of international tourism.

"It is a big step as we can finally sign the MoU between the two countries, which has been discussed since 2014," the Indonesian minister remarked.

On Friday, the two ministers discussed their crucial roles and responsibilities in collaborating and recovering the tourism sector and making it more resilient, sustainable, inclusive, and safe.

The signing of the MoU will encourage mutually beneficial cooperation between the two countries, such as tourism promotion, tourism product development, private sector cooperation, as well as human resource development.

The agreement will also encourage research and development for tourism recovery and welfare improvement in both countries.

The two countries will also collaborate to create programs and activities to bolster bilateral relations and promote the exchange of experts to give opportunities to tourism players from the two countries to work together.

According to Uno, the most important thing regarding the cooperation is how to encourage the tourism sector in Indonesia to create more jobs. The contribution of tourism to Fiji Islands' national economy is 40 percent, while in Indonesia, the contribution of the sector is only around 4.3 percent.

"We believe that this collaboration will be able to strengthen the economies of both countries and I would also like to highlight that there are a number of issues, such as climate change, which we are both facing as archipelagic countries," he noted.

Meanwhile, Koya said that as archipelagic countries, the challenges experienced by Indonesia and his country in relation to tourism development are relatively similar.

"It is an important time for us to collaborate closely. This collaboration will improve our relationship further and it is a great opportunity for us to share (our best practices)," he remarked.

Translator: Naufal Yusuf, Uyu Liman
Editor: Azis Kurmala
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