President Yudhoyono starts three-day visit in Britain

President Yudhoyono starts three-day visit in Britain

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in "Indonesian Airforce One". (ANTARA/Widodo S. Jusuf)

President Yudhoyono`s visit is aimed at enhancing the bilateral relations.
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, in the company of First Lady Ani Yudhoyono and entourage, arrived at the Heathrow international airport, London at about 6.0 p.m. local time or 40 minutes earlier than the schedule.

The head of state visited Britain at the invitation of Queen Elizabeth II, according to presidential special staff for international relations Teuku Faizasyah.

In the airport, the president was welcomed by The Viscount Brookeborough and Lord in Waiting, representing the Queen and Nicholas Jarrold representing Britain Foreign Minister Eleanor MacSwan, the Heathrow airport manager and the Indonesian ambassador to Great Britain and his wife Lastry Thayeb.

The president and the entourage then proceeded to the Grosvenor House hotel, London.

During the visit, Yudhoyono was also accompanied by Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Jero Wacik, Education Minister M Nuh, Tourism and Creative Economy minister Mari Elka Pangestu, House of Representatives (DPR) chairman Marzuki Alie, and the Regional Representatives Council (DPD) chairman Irman Gusman.

Meanwhile, British Foreign Minister William Hague said, "It is an honor to welcome President Yudhoyono to Britain."

"We have determined to become an entry point for the Indonesian business in Europe. We can offer the opportunities for investment either in the fields of energy, transportation or infrastructure," Minister Hague said.

President Yudhoyono`s visit is aimed at enhancing the bilateral relations.

In 2011, the two countries` trade value reached 2.4 trillion Pound sterling or up by 10 percent per year.

In the same year, the Britain`s goods export to Indonesia worth 0.97 trillion pound sterling or up by 28 percent.

In the meantime, the Britain`s import from Indonesia amounting 1.4 trillion Poundsterling or up by 0.6 percent.

In April 2012, the Britain Prime Minister and President Yudhoyono had committed to double the bilateral trade in term of goods and services to reach 4.4 trillion Pound sterling in 2015.

In addition, President Yudhoyono will also meet with Prince of Wales and Duchess of Cornwall.

The Indonesian president at Halim Perdakakusuma airport in Jakarta before leaving for Britain on Tuesday morning stated that Indonesia and Britain would focus on cooperation in the fields of trade and investment, education, environment, democracy, and religion.

Earlier, presidential special staff for international relations Teuku Faizasyah said:"President Yudhoyono`s visit to Britain is expected to boost two countries` cooperation both at the bilateral level and in the context of joint efforts to address various global issues."

"When British Prime Minister David Cameron visited Indonesia in April 2012, it was agreed that the two countries will focus on cooperation in five areas, namely trade, investment, education, environment, and democracy," Faizasyah pointed out.

Faizasyah said further that the President would speak before All-Party Parliamentary Group on Indonesia, Royal College for Defence Studies, and Wilton Park - an executive agency of the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

The Indonesian head of state will be in Britain until November 3, before making a working visit to Laos to attend the 9th Asia-Europe Meeting (ASEM), Faizasyah added.