Jakarta (ANTARA) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) said Indonesia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) have agreed to the drafting of a roadmap for development cooperation for the next five years.

"Indonesia will soon also start renovating Port Moresby Hospital, developing fire stations and conducting waste management in Vanimo, developing schools in Wutung, and providing scholarships for PNG students," he stated on Wednesday (July 5), as broadcast by the Presidential Secretariat YouTube channel.

The president's remarks were made during the joint press conference after meeting Prime Minister James Marape at APEC Haus, Port Moresby, PNG.

During the meeting, Jokowi echoed Indonesia's commitment to advancing cooperation with Pacific countries, including PNG.

The two leaders also discussed efforts to enhance economic cooperation between Indonesia and PNG. The president noted that the bilateral trade value in 2022 had surged to US$307 million.

"We need to increase this by pushing for the continuation of the PTA (preferential trade agreement) deliberation, the establishment of a business council, visits of trade and investment missions, and participation of Indonesian state-owned companies in road construction in PNG," he expounded.

Meanwhile, the president said he welcomed new connectivity initiatives and the resumption of activities in the Indonesia-PNG border.

The head of state commended the new initiatives of the opening of the PNG Express sea route; direct flights from Denpasar, Bali, to Port Moresby; ratification of the Basic Agreement on Border Arrangement; and the reopening of the Skouw-Wutung land border post.

Jokowi said he discussed Indo-Pacific cooperation with Marape. He also conveyed the commitment to increasing engagement between Indonesia and ASEAN and the Pacific region.

"Including by inviting Pacific representatives to the East Asia Summit and organizing the ASEAN-Indo-Pacific Forum," he remarked.

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Translator: Indra Arief P, Nabil Ihsan
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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