Indonesia, China agree to further boost cooperation

Indonesia and China have agreed to boost cooperation in various sectors as President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and China’s President Xi Jinping held a talk on Wednesday in a meeting seen as crucial for enhancement of regional cooperation, The Jakarta Globe reported.

Analysts said that while efforts to enhance trade and investment dominated the talks, Xi’s decision to pick Indonesia as his first destination in Southeast Asia in the middle of many regional problems would boost Indonesia’s standing as a key country China would turn to when it has initiatives for the region.

In a joint press conference after the meeting, Xi said China has strong intentions to make its relations with Indonesia more comprehensive. “China has agreed, together with Indonesia, to push our cooperation to a new direction which can bring prosperity to people of both countries,” he said.

As a signal of enhanced partnership, Xi said China would build a cultural center in Jakarta, and a consulate office in Bali. He also proposed the establishment of an Asian investment and infrastructure bank — which would allow nations to access funds for projects — in an effort to build interconnection and economic integration across the region.

Yudhoyono said both countries agreed to broaden their strategic partnership signed in 2005. “I believe that under President Xi’s leadership, Indonesia and China can achieve a new high in friendship and cooperation,” he said.

He said both countries vowed to continue boosting the current $51 billion dollar trade to $80 billion by 2015.