Joint Doorstop Interview with Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi

  • Transcript, E&OE
05 March 2017

MINISTER MARSUDI: Minister Bishop and I just had a very good meeting after meeting a week ago in Sydney, and discussed the follow up of the Indonesian President's visit to Sydney which was one of the best visits that the President has had so far.

We discussed first of all our cooperation to strengthen the economic ties between Indonesia and Australia and how we can move forward on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. This week, the Minister for Trade of Australia will visit Indonesia together with a business delegation, as a follow-up from the President's visit to Sydney.

The second point we discussed was on the Digital Conference. The Prime Minister will be here tomorrow and the Prime Minister will have the opportunity to discuss how we can proceed with the idea of having the Digital Conference in Bandung in perhaps the second half of this year.

And of course, in the context of IORA (Indian Ocean Rim Association), Australia and Indonesia have a very strong cooperation, particularly on the issue of women's empowerment. We want to continue to raise the issue of women's empowerment in the IORA context. Together with Minister Bishop, the Foreign Minister of South Africa and I will co-chair the IORA Ministers' Meeting tomorrow.

MINISTER BISHOP: Ibu Retno, thank you very much for the warm welcome. We did indeed meet a week ago in Sydney on the occasion of President Widodo's very successful visit to Australia. I am delighted that Prime Minister Turnbull will be here tomorrow for the IORA Leaders' Summit that Indonesia is hosting in its role as Chair of the Indian Ocean Rim Association for the past two years.

President Widodo's visit to Australia was very welcome. He was warmly received; there were overwhelming crowds to see him and we were delighted that there was so much that could be achieved as well.

Ibu Retno and I followed up on some of those matters this evening, particularly on the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement. As the Foreign Minister said, our Trade, Tourism and Investment Minister will be here from tomorrow night with a business delegation to look at ways we can enhance two-way trade and investment. Also, to look at the issue of tourism as more Australians are visiting Indonesia and more Indonesians are visiting Australia, all very important issues.

As for the IORA conference tomorrow, I am looking forward to working with my two female foreign minister counterparts to co-chair the meeting. This is about bringing 21 countries of the Indian Ocean rim together for increased cooperation in maritime safety and security; in fisheries regulation; in scientific and technological exchanges; education; disaster risk management; a whole range of issues that concern the nations of the Indian Ocean. I congratulate Indonesia on hosting this, and in its 20th year of IORA, for holding the first ever Leaders' Summit.

So, once more, we always have so much to discuss, a very warm and productive meeting just then, and I'm looking forward to the IORA summit tomorrow. Thank you.

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