On March 13, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will hold talks with Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Moscow.
The ministers will discuss the current situation and prospects of promoting cooperation in various areas with an emphasis on progress in implementing the agreements reached by President of Russia Vladimir Putin and President of the Republic of Indonesia Joko Widodo in Sochi in May 2016, as well as current international and regional issues.
Current bilateral relations are characterised by intensive political dialogue, close economic cooperation, and progressively advancing military-technical and cultural cooperation.
Indonesia is an important and promising partner of Russia in the Asia-Pacific Region, the multifaceted ties with which are dynamically developing relying on the solid foundation of traditional friendship and mutual trust.
The cooperation potential and mutual interest in further expanding ties laid the groundwork for taking Russian-Indonesian relations to the level of strategic partnership. Today the sides are working on the corresponding draft declaration that will be signed during a possible meeting at the highest level.
Constructive interaction within the UN and other multilateral organisations and forums is an important component of Russian-Indonesian relations. It is based on our similar approaches to most of the critical issues on the global agenda, including the issue of forming a new security and cooperation architecture in the Asia-Pacific Region. Russia and Indonesia have established effective coordination in key regional mechanisms and platforms, including the Russia-ASEAN Dialogue Partnership, APEC, ASEM, ARF, EAC, and ADMM-Plus.
Our countries efficiently cooperate in countering international terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking and organised crime.
Consultations are held on a regular basis on strategic security by the Russian Security Council and the Indonesian Coordinating Ministry for Political, Legal, and Security Affairs. On March 1, Jakarta hosted a regular round of talks between Secretary of Russia’s Security Council Nikolai Patrushev and Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto.
Building up trade, economic and investment cooperation are our priorities. The Russian-Indonesian Joint Commission on Trade, Economic and Technical Cooperation, the Russian part of which is headed by Minister of Industry and Trade Denis Manturov, is an effective mechanism for stimulating economic ties. The commission’s 11th meeting, held in Jakarta in October 2016, confirmed mutual interest in implementing mutually beneficial projects in many promising areas of interaction. The next session of the commission is planned for Moscow in the third quarter. The commission has working groups on trade, industry and investment; energy; transport and infrastructure; on the legal basis of bilateral cooperation; and on culture.
According to the data of the Russian Federal Customs Service, in 2017, bilateral trade was $3.2 billion (25.2 per cent growth compared with 2016), with $788.8 million (double growth) in Russian exports and $2.4 billion (12.3 per cent growth) in imports.
Exports include agricultural goods and raw materials (25.9 per cent), chemical products (23.5 per cent), metals and metal products (22.2 per cent) and mineral products (16.5 per cent).
Imports from the Republic of Indonesia include automobiles, equipment, vehicles (39.1 per cent), food and agricultural raw materials (37.8 per cent) and chemical products (10 per cent).
Investment cooperation is also developing. A number of large infrastructure projects involving Russian businesses such as Russian Railways, Rusal, Rosneft, Vi Holding and Blackspace are implemented in Indonesia.
The agenda includes expanding cooperation in training Indonesian specialists at Russian universities, including on a contract basis, as well as developing cooperation in cutting-edge scientific research.
Currently, about 300 Indonesian students are getting educated in Russia, including 150 railway specialists. In the 2017-2018 academic year, 161 Indonesian students will study at Russian universities at the expense of the Russian budget.
Culture plays an important role in bilateral relations. Indonesian festivals in Moscow, where Russians are introduced to the rich culture and traditions of the country, have become a tradition.
The tourism sector has seen positive trends, with some 70,000 Russian tourists visiting Indonesia in 2017 (about 60,000 in 2016).
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi’s visit to Moscow is meant to help strengthen the bilateral partnership all around, which fully meets the countries’ long-term interests and the tasks of ensuring security, stability and sustainable development in the Asia-Pacific Region.