Indonesian President Widodo keen to step up cooperation with Fiji

Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo

Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) pushed for the intensification of mutually beneficial cooperation between Indonesia and Fiji during a bilateral meeting with the President of Fiji, Williame Maivalili Katonivere, in Bali on Monday.

The bilateral meeting took place on the sidelines of the 10th World Water Forum, according to a press release issued by the Presidential Secretariat in Jakarta.

“As a fellow Pacific country, Fiji is a brother and important partner of Indonesia in efforts aimed at making the Pacific a peaceful, stable, and prosperous region. We also need to strengthen concrete and mutually beneficial cooperation,” he said.

During the meeting, the Indonesian head of state placed emphasis on three crucial points, including partnership in development.

He expressed the hope that the Demonstration Farm and Regional Training Centre for Agriculture that is planned to be built with Indonesia’s help in the Rakiraki region of Fiji will promote research, innovation, and partnerships, and thereby, contribute to food resilience.

“That way, Fiji will be able to emerge as a hub of agricultural development in the Pacific,” he stated.

Touching upon the second crucial point, that is people-to-people relations, Widodo lauded the launch of a forum called the Fiji-Indonesia Friendship Association last March.

“I believe that the support of Your Excellency will further solidify the people-to-people relations established between our nations,” he told President Katonivere.

He then spoke about the third point: cooperation in the Pacific.

He said that Indonesia is fully committed to consistently voicing the aspirations and interests of Pacific nations at various forums.

The President also reaffirmed Indonesia’s commitment to maintaining harmonious relations with fellow Pacific countries through participation in talks and agendas held by the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) and Pacific Islands Forum.

“I would like to appreciate Fiji for its consistency in respecting Indonesia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity and support for Indonesia’s role in the Pacific,” he said.

President Katonivere, on his part, praised Indonesia’s transformation and congratulated Widodo on the achievements made by his administration.

He also expressed Fiji’s keenness to take more notes from Indonesia, while noting that the two countries have been successful in maintaining relations for 50 years. Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, State Secretary Minister Pratikno, and Investment Minister Bahlil Lahadalia accompanied President Widodo to the meeting.