As Indonesia’s only strategic partner within the ASEAN bloc, Vietnam will always be an important partner to the nation, stated Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L.P Marsudi in an annual press statement in Jakarta on January 9.
The statement highlighted the country foreign policy achievements over the last four years, as well as diplomatic orientations for 2019.
It stressed that 2018 is a special year for bilateral relations between Indonesia and Vietnam.
While recalling important events for Vietnam-Indonesia relations in 2018, Marsudi underscored Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s state visit to Hanoi on September 11-12 where he attended the World Economic Forum (WEF) on ASEAN. The visit coincided with the fifth anniversary of the Indonesia-Vietnam Strategic Partnership. In a bilateral meeting in the Presidential Palace, President Widodo and Vietnamese State President Tran Dai Quang witnessed the signing of the Indonesia-Vietnam Strategic Partnership Action Plan for 2019-2023.
In line with Indonesia’s foreign policy priorities, the Indonesian FM expressed that her nation is looking forward to cooperating with Vietnam in accelerating the completion of negotiations over the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ), protecting Indonesian citizens living in Vietnam, boosting economic cooperation, and maintaining regional security and stability.
The two sides are jointly implementing one of the concrete efforts to achieve a bilateral trade target of 10 billion USD in 2020, the statement said.
It also underlined foreign policy achievements in the four priority fields of maintaining sovereignty, protecting Indonesian citizens and legal entities abroad, strengthening Indonesia’s economic diplomacy, and enhancing its regional and global role.
In the statement, Marsudi also stressed the importance of security and stability in Southeast Asia, adding that it is for the mutual benefit of Indonesia and other ASEAN countries.
She added that ASEAN should be proactive in addressing strategic development and changes in the region.
Regarding the East Sea, Indonesia wants to ensure that the Declaration on the Conduct of Parties in the East Sea (DOC) continues to be implemented.