Monday, 29 January 2018 11:33

President Joko Widodo’s visit to South Asia

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Indonesian President, Joko Widodo conducted a series of state visits in South Asia, namely Sri Lanka, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh from 24 to 28 January 2018. In this visit, he was accompanied by several ministers of the Working Cabinet, such as Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs, Darmin Nasution, Minister of Trade, Enggartiasto Lukita, and Cabinet Secretary, Pramono Anung.

Sri Lanka became the first country visited by President Joko Widodo on January 24 to 25, then India on January 25-26 and Pakistan on January 26-27, and Bangladesh on 27--28 January 2018. Later from Bangladesh, President Joko Widodo resumed his trip to Afghanistan on January 29, 2018.

"Opening New Opportunities" became the theme of the President's state visit. The main focus of the visit is to enhance and develop economic cooperation with South Asia, including trade, energy, connectivity and infrastructure development.

President Joko Widodo's visit to several countries in South Asia is considered to be quite successful, resulting in some agreements on cooperation with countries visited in accordance with the theme, "Opening New Opportunities".

On the visit to Sri Lanka, President Joko Widodo agreed on a number of trade and economic cooperation with Sri Lankan President, Maithripala Sirisena.

Meanwhile in India, in addition to attending the ASEAN-India Summit, President Joko Widodo also held a bilateral meeting with Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi who created the same agreements.

During his visit to Pakistan, President Joko Widodo had the opportunity to speak at the National Assembly of Pakistan. In addition, in a bilateral meeting with Pakistani Prime Minister, Shahid Khaqan Abbasi, the signing of a memorandum of understanding on energy and trade was agreed. Indonesia agreed to supply Liquefied Natural Gas -LNG to Pakistan.

President Joko Widodo's visit to countries in South Asia ended in Bangladesh. After a meeting with Bangladeshi Prime Minister, Sheikh Hasina, both of them witnessed the signing of several cooperation agreements between the two countries.

In addition, President Joko Widodo also visited Rakhine State refugees, in at Cox's Bazar in Myanmar and reviewed the service activities undertaken by the Indonesian government as well as Indonesian humanitarian organizations that have been already operating there.

President Joko Widodo's visit to South Asia is very strategic and it expands Indonesia's relationship with the South Asian countries. Hopefully, this will bring about positive impact for both Indonesia and the visited countries.

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