It (the negotiation) has been going on for a long time.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) encouraged negotiations on the Indonesia-Japan Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (IJEPA) to be completed in September 2023.

Jokowi made the statement at a meeting with Japanese Prime Minister (PM) Fumio Kishida held on the sidelines of the G7 Summit in Hiroshima, Japan, on Saturday, to discuss efforts to intensify several bilateral partnerships.

“It (the negotiation) has been going on for a long time," the Indonesian president noted, as quoted from a press release from the Press Bureau of the Presidential Secretariat.

Eliminating tariffs on canned tuna products, expanding opportunities for Indonesian migrant workers (PMI) to work in the tourism and industrial sectors in Japan, and implementing capacity building, among others, are proposed to be included in the agreement, he remarked.

Jokowi drew attention to the fact that the trade of agricultural products from Fukushima to Indonesia had been accommodated. Hence, to this end, he urged Japan to also apply the same policy for Indonesian fruit products.

"I urged the Japanese government to expand (trade) access for Indonesian tropical fruits, including mangoes," he stated.

Furthermore, he highlighted the need to expedite the completion of the Integrated Mass Rapid Transit (MRT) development in Indonesia and suggested that a Japanese contractor be appointed directly to implement the development project.

Meanwhile, regarding the development of Indonesia's future capital city, Nusantara (IKN), Jokowi said he welcomed the signing of memoranda of understanding (MoUs) with five Japanese entities.

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The institutions comprised the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA), Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Japan Conference on Overseas Development of Eco-Cities (J-CODE), Japan International Association for the Industry of Building and Housing (JIBH), and Urban Renaissance Agency (UR), the Indonesian president noted.

In addition, he encouraged accelerating the realization of Japan’s commitment, worth US$500 million (Rp7.69 trillion), for implementing energy transition programs in Indonesia, such as developing low-carbon technology and expediting efforts towards retiring steam-powered power plants (PLTU).

The commitment also encompassed an agreement between Indonesian state-run electricity provider PT PLN, state-owned fertilizer holding firm Pupuk Indonesia, and state-run oil and gas company Pertamina with several Japanese partners to achieve net zero emissions.

President Jokowi also sought Japan's support to deliver humanitarian aid to Myanmar through the ASEAN Coordinating Centre for Humanitarian Assistance and Disaster Management (AHA Centre).

Furthermore, he invited Japan to partake in the ASEAN Indo-Pacific Infrastructure Forum, scheduled to be held on September 6-7, 2023, in Jakarta, and encourage the implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific (AOIP).

In addition, Jokowi commended the Japanese government’s invitation to Indonesia to attend the G7 Summit in Hiroshima as a G7 partner country.

"Japan is Indonesia's important and strategic partner. I agree to improve our partnership to become broader and more concrete," he stated.

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Translator: Gilang Galiartha, Uyu Liman
Editor: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
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