During his visit President Joko Widodo met with the Right Honourable Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy and with Prime Minister Ardern. The two sides held warm and forward-looking discussions on wide-ranging areas of bilateral cooperation as well as regional and global issues of shared concern.
The strength of the long-standing partnership
President Widodo and Prime Minister Ardern noted the importance of the 60th Anniversary of the formal diplomatic relationship between New Zealand and Indonesia. The relationship was built on a solid foundation of people-to-people links and had blossomed into one of each nation’s most valuable relationships. As such, it was fitting that President Widodo’s visit to New Zealand also marked the elevation of the bilateral relationship to that of a Comprehensive Partnership.
The Leaders reaffirmed the two countries’ mutual respect and support for each other’s sovereignty and territorial integrity – and to the maintenance of a peaceful, stable, prosperous and secure Asia-Pacific region.
Trade and economic cooperation
Prime Minister Ardern expressed appreciation for the convening of a New Zealand-Indonesia business forum that took place in Auckland on 16 March 2018, and for President Widodo’s in-depth discussions with New Zealand business CEOs. Both Leaders noted this would contribute to the deepening of two-way trade and investment links.
Both Leaders reaffirmed a commitment to increase two-way trade in goods to NZ$4 billion (IDR 40 trillion) by 2024, building on the platform created by the ASEAN-Australia-New Zealand Free Trade Agreement. They emphasised that open, stable and conducive business environments are key to achieving this goal.
Leaders also welcomed the two-way growth in trade in services, and affirmed the importance of increasing investment to support mutually beneficial growth, boost productivity and increase meaningful employment.
The central importance of the agricultural sector to the bilateral relationship was discussed, with both Leaders recognising the importance of agricultural trade to ensuring food security in the region, and the need to remove barriers that prevent trade in food and agricultural products from reaching its full potential.
Both Leaders also underscored the importance of regional economic integration and increasingly open trade in the Asia-Pacific region, and reaffirmed their objective to achieve a modern, comprehensive, high quality and mutually beneficial outcome in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP) agreement negotiations. They reaffirmed that RCEP will have broader and deeper engagement with significant improvements over existing ASEAN+1 FTAs, while recognising the individual and diverse circumstances of RCEP participating countries.
Renewable energy and environment cooperation
The two Leaders welcomed progress in implementing the Arrangement on Cooperation in Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation, particularly education and technical capacity building for geothermal energy. President Widodo and Prime Minister Ardern acknowledged the key contribution renewable energy makes to climate change mitigation, and re-affirmed their commitment to implementing the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
Both Leaders reaffirmed their commitments under the New Zealand – Indonesia Joint Communiqué on Combatting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Promoting Sustainable Fisheries Management, which was signed in 2016. Prime Minister Ardern also confirmed New Zealand’s interest in participating in the 5th “Our Ocean” conference, to be hosted by President Widodo in Indonesia in October 2018.
Education and tourism
The two Leaders highlighted the cornerstone contribution that people to people connections provide in building a relationship that is as enduring and robust as that shared by New Zealand and Indonesia. Both Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to increase two-way education links.
Both Leaders noted the growth in tourism, which has seen an increase in the numbers of New Zealand citizens travelling to Indonesia, and Indonesian citizens travelling to New Zealand. Both Leaders noted the prospects for future growth with the addition of new Bali-Auckland direct flights in 2018. This would add significantly to travel between the two countries, as well as increase freight options.
Both Leaders endorsed the extension to the Memorandum of Cooperation on Disaster Risk Management between the National Disaster Management Authority of Indonesia and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
Noting the value of New Zealand’s development assistance, particularly in renewable energy and geothermal development, agriculture, disaster risk management and education, Prime Minister Ardern announced funding for two new development projects: a NZ$4.5 million three-year project that will enable the Indonesian Red Cross to respond more effectively to disasters; and a NZ$3.5 million five-year project to develop a network of skilled young civic leaders, with a commitment to sustainable development in Eastern Indonesia, through participation in a New Zealand-based leadership programme.
Prime Minister Ardern and President Widodo noted the positive bilateral cooperation in police and defence issues, and expressed a desire to see this further develop. The two Leaders condemned terrorism in all its forms and emphasised the importance of regional stability for economic and development outcomes. In this light, the two Leaders agreed to work to develop an Arrangement on Counter-Terrorism to set out future bilateral cooperation.
Prime Minister Ardern also appreciated Indonesia’s holistic approach to countering the threat of violent extremism, and for its efforts to bring coherence to the response in South East Asia through initiatives such as the “Manado” sub-regional framework on foreign terrorist fighters and cross-border terrorism, of which New Zealand is pleased to be a member.
Regional and multilateral agenda
The Leaders acknowledged the importance of effective regional architecture in maintaining security and prosperity in the region. New Zealand values its participation in regional groupings such as the East Asia Summit, ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus and the ASEAN Regional Forum that are based on ASEAN centrality. Indonesia and New Zealand have worked closely on regional political, security and economic issues, and New Zealand expressed its particular thanks to Indonesia for serving as its country coordinator within ASEAN since 2015 and helping to implement New Zealand’s strategic partnership with ASEAN.
Both Leaders noted challenges and opportunities shared by the Pacific and Indian Oceans and committed to open, transparent and inclusive regional architecture based on the respect for international law.
The Leaders emphasised the importance of maintaining peace and stability in the region. They noted the value of peaceful resolution of disputes, and respect for freedom of navigation and overflight, in accordance with international law, including the 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Both Leaders encouraged the early conclusion of a Code of Conduct for the South China Sea.
Both Leaders shared the view that peace, security and stability on the Korean Peninsula are of great importance. They expressed support for dialogue and peaceful settlement of disputes, aimed at establishing permanent peace on the Korean Peninsula. They welcomed the recent rapprochement and encouraged all relevant parties to continue to work towards the denuclearisation of the Korean Peninsula.
The Leaders also reaffirmed their commitment to work closely on the implementation of relevant United Nations Security Council (UNSC) resolutions regarding the Korean Peninsula.
President Joko Widodo expressed his heartfelt thanks for the warm hospitality of the New Zealand Government and people extended to him and his delegation during his official visit.
| A Beehive release || March 20, 2018 |||