ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations)
Comment by the Information and Press Department on Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov’s visit to Indonesia
On August 8-9, Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov will make a working visit to the Republic of Indonesia, during which he will hold talks with Foreign Minister of Indonesia Retno Marsudi.
The foreign ministers will examine in detail the state of and prospects for cooperation in various spheres as a follow-up to the agreements reached during summit meetings, and will also compare notes on current international and regional issues. Plans are in place to sign a Consultation Plan between the foreign ministries of Russia and Indonesia for 2017-2019.
During his stay in Jakarta, Mr Lavrov will visit the Secretariat of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). The talk with ASEAN Secretary-General Le Luong Minh will focus on increasing the effectiveness of joint mechanisms of the Russian-ASEAN dialogue partnership. A special emphasis will be placed on stepping up cooperation between the ASEAN Secretariat, the SCO Secretariat and the Eurasian Economic Commission, including in the interest of implementing the initiative for forming a Greater Eurasian Partnership.
Mr Lavrov will also take part in the opening ceremony of a separate Russian Permanent Mission to ASEAN, which has been established in accordance with the agreements reached at the Sochi Summit in May 2016 to assign a strategic nature to the dialogue partnership of our country and the Group of Ten (G10). The new Russian mission will actively engage in their implementation, addressing the entire range of tasks to develop cooperation with the Association in the political, trade and economic, and sociocultural spheres.
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.
Current bilateral relations are characterised by intensive political dialogue, close economic cooperation, progressively advancing military-technical and cultural cooperation.
Constructive interaction within the UN and other multilateral organisations and forums is an important component of Russian-Indonesian relations. It is based on the similarity of 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. Our countries have established effective coordination in key regional mechanisms and platforms, including the Russia-ASEAN Dialogue Partnership, APEC, ASEM, ARF, EAC, and SMOA Plus.
Russia and Indonesia efficiently cooperate in the fight against international terrorism, extremism, drug trafficking, and organised crime.
Priority is given to building up trade, economic and investment cooperation. 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 October.
In 2016, mutual trade totaled $2.6 billion, including Russian exports in the amount of $403 million, and imports of $2.2 billion. In January-May 2017, bilateral trade increased 15 per cent to $1 billion (Russian exports were $212 million, up 49 per cent, and imports were $810 million, up 8 per cent).
An important element of our humanitarian relations includes training of highly skilled specialists for Indonesia at Russian universities, including on a paid basis, as well as expanding cooperation in advanced scientific research.
Currently, about 300 Indonesian students are being 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 Russian citizens are introduced to the rich culture and traditions of that country, have become a tradition.
Positive dynamics have been recorded in the tourism sector, with some 65,000 Russian tourists visiting Indonesia in 2016.
The visit by Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov to Jakarta is aimed to contribute to the comprehensive strengthening of the Russian-Indonesian partnership.