Singapore

Singapore, Indonesia reaffirm excellent ties

Both countries sign two pacts during Leaders' Retreat at Istana

The relationship between Singapore and Indonesia has prospered, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and visiting Indonesian President Joko Widodo noted at their fourth Leaders' Retreat yesterday, as they expressed the hope that ties will grow stronger in the next five years.

The meeting comes ahead of Mr Joko's swearing-in for his second term in two weeks' time. President Joko, better known as Jokowi, and Vice-President-Elect Ma'ruf Amin had won the April presidential election on a joint ticket with 55.5 per cent of the vote.

At the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders' Retreat at the Istana, Mr Lee congratulated Mr Joko on his re-election and said he looked forward to attending his inauguration.

"I'm very happy that in President Jokowi's first term, we have built an excellent relationship of trust and cooperation," said Mr Lee at a joint press conference with Mr Joko, after they concluded what Mr Lee described as a "very good meeting".

Mr Lee added that he hoped to deepen the relationship with the President and his new Cabinet to bring the relations between the two neighbours to a higher level.

Mr Joko, who is on a two-day visit, received a ceremonial welcome at the Istana.

At the retreat, both leaders took stock of their wide-ranging cooperation across the economic, people-to-people and security sectors, and discussed how to build on this strong foundation.

"We both reaffirmed our commitment to continue strengthening our mutually beneficial relations between our two countries," Mr Joko said at the press conference.

ECONOMIC LINKS

He and Mr Lee also noted with satisfaction that economic links between both countries have steadily expanded over the years, with cooperation in trade, investments and tourism growing from strength to strength.

Two pacts were also inked by the two countries yesterday, witnessed by their leaders.

The first was the Agreement between Indonesia and Singapore on Electronic Data Exchange to Facilitate and Secure Trade, which will link the one-stop e-Customs facilities, commonly known as national single windows, of both countries.

The second was a Memorandum of Understanding on Archives Cooperation between the National Archives of Singapore, which is under the National Library Board, and the National Archives of Indonesia. It aims to deepen knowledge of the history, culture and heritage on both sides.

Mr Lee also affirmed Singapore's commitment to support the growth and development of Indonesia. The leaders discussed security relations and welcomed the strong and longstanding ties between their defence establishments and militaries as well.

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