Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia and Timor Leste agreed on pursuing a bilateral investment treaty in an effort to better develop their economic cooperation, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) stated.

"To support cooperation in economy, particularly development of economic areas in border zones, we agree on pushing for initiative for negotiations on establishing a bilateral investment treaty," the head of state remarked in a joint press conference with Prime Minister of Timor Leste Taur Matan Ruak at the Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java, on Monday.

At the meeting with Prime Minister Ruak, he underscored the importance of economic cooperation between the two countries.

The president responded positively to the improvement in trade relations between both nations. Each country is committed to pursuing the development of economic zones on the border, those being between East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia, and Oecusse, Timor Leste.

President Jokowi also lauded the launch of the first bus route for the Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara-Dili, Timor Leste route that improves land connectivity.

"In particular, I also encourage the reduction of sea transportation logistics costs for business activities," he noted.

Both leaders also understand the importance of managing border areas and enhancing development cooperation.

Indonesia, the Chair of ASEAN in 2023, also highlighted Timor Leste's status, which in principle, has been considered as one of the members. Currently, they were preparing the road map for Timor Leste's full membership in ASEAN, President Jokowi noted.

"A roadmap for full membership is being prepared, led by Indonesia, as the current Chair of ASEAN, and Timor Leste has participated in ASEAN meetings with the status as observer, including in the meeting of the ASEAN Foreign Ministers in early February," he concluded.

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Translator: Indra A P, Mecca Yumna
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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