Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) met with New Zealand Prime Minister Christopher Luxon to discuss increasing trade and Pacific cooperation in their meeting on the sidelines of the ASEAN-Australia Special Summit, in Melbourne, Australia, on Tuesday.

Based on a press release from his office on Tuesday, Jokowi congratulated PM Luxon on his appointment and emphasized the importance of the strategic partnership between the two countries, especially in the economic and development fields.

“New Zealand is Indonesia's strategic partner. I hope that under your leadership, we can continue to improve the concrete implementation of comprehensive partnerships, especially in the economic and development sectors," Jokowi remarked.

One of the focuses of discussions between the two leaders was the decline in trade value between Indonesia and New Zealand that amounted to 18 percent last year.

Jokowi then emphasized the need to formulate new opportunities to increase interaction between business and trade actors, including in the halal sector.

He also welcomed PM Luxon's planned visit with a trade mission to Jakarta this year.

"I am sure this will encourage trade and economic cooperation between the two countries," he noted.

In the energy sector, Jokowi commended the close geothermal energy cooperation between the two countries, including a funding commitment of 15.6 million NZD (US$9 million) to the Indonesia-Aoteroa New Zealand Geothermal Energy Program (PINZ).

"I hope that investment can continue to be increased, especially to support the acceleration of geothermal energy development and energy transition efforts in Indonesia," he remarked.

The meeting also discussed cooperation between the two countries in the Pacific region.

President Jokowi then lauded New Zealand's support for the implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and expressed hope for New Zealand's support in the Pacific Islands Forum.

"I also want to push for trilateral cooperation with New Zealand and one of the other Pacific countries in the field of development partnerships in line with Indonesia's Pacific Elevation vision," he remarked.

Lastly, the president invited PM Luxon to attend the 10th World Water Forum in Bali on May 18-24, 2024, which will discuss issues related to water and sanitation amid the increasing impact of global climate change.

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Translator: Rangga Pandu A J, Resinta Sulistiyandari
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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