"There are rooms for both nations to strengthen long-term cooperation."
Kuala Lumpur (ANTARA News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono said Indonesia and Malaysia still had broad areas for expanding economic cooperation amid favorable conditions of both nations` positive economic growth.

"There are rooms for both nations to strengthen long-term cooperation," President Yudhoyono said in a joint press conference with Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak, in Puterajaya, Malaysia, on Tuesday night.

He said that the Indonesian economy which had been growing well in recent years offered rooms for cooperation with various parties, including Malaysia.

"Malaysia`s economy grew well and there is potential for cooperation in the future. We will think about a strategic economic cooperation," he said.

In the meantime, Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak said the economic relations between the two countries in the past several years showed a significant increase and a good development.

"Investment is on the rise. I believe economic cooperation of both nations will continue to increase. Indonesia`s economic achievements will offer bigger economic opportunities and we will increase economic cooperation," the Malaysian prime minister said.

He said that Indonesia and Malaysia would continue to reduce economic barriers, expressing optimism that the economic target in 2015 would be achieved.

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono was leading a delegation here to the 9th annual consultation meeting with Malaysia on Tuesday.

His delegation included Coordinating Minister for Political, Security and Legal Affairs Djoko Suyanto, Defence Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro, Manpower Minister Muhaimin Iskandar, Home Affairs Minister Gamawan Fauzi, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa, Education Minister Mohammad Nuh and Industry Minister MS Hidayat.

President Yudhoyono is also scheduled to receive an honorary degree in Philosophy from the University of North Malaysia.

The President`s visit to Malaysia this time is amid rising tensions between the two countries, after former Malaysian information minister Tan Sri Zainuddin Maidini criticized former Indonesian President BJ Habibie as a `traitor` in a newspaper article.

After seeing a Habibie and Ainun film on Monday, President Yudhoyono expressed disapproval of the Malaysian minister`s statement, saying it had hurt the feelings of the Indonesian people and could also disrupt relations between the two countries.

"I would raise the issue at the meeting in Malaysia so in the future we can be more considerate to each other and be more respectful in order for our partnership and friendship to not be disturbed," he said.

From Malaysia, President Yudhoyono will leave for India to attend an ASEAN-India summit.

Editor: Priyambodo RH
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