In a one-hour bilateral meeting held at the Agr Agr Presidential Palace on Monday, January 29, 2018, President Joko Widodo and Afghan President Ashraf Ghan agreed that peace-building efforts in Afghanistan should also be sustained by the country's economic development. Both things must go hand in hand.
"Without peace there will be no prosperity, without prosperity, peace will not be sustainable, therefore, when we work together to build peace, economic cooperation must be increased in parallel," said President Jokowi.
President Jokowi alludes to the relatively low trade value of the two countries. In fact, he believes that the potential for trade cooperation between the two countries is huge. Therefore, he will follow up the matter by assigning the related line.
"I have asked my ministers to encourage business-to-business contacts," he said.
Previously, approximately one hundred Afghan businessmen attended the Trade Expo Indonesia last year. Their arrival booked a transaction value of more than USD 1.1 million. President Joko Widodo himself then promised to send a potential business delegation to Afghanistan in the first quarter of this year.
"I am sure that more intensive interaction between businesspeople of both countries can open various cooperation opportunities," said President Jokowi.
In addition, Indonesia's support for peace efforts in Afghanistan is also shown by the cooperation of increasing human resources capacity. Indonesia, according to President Jokowi, will continue to improve capacity building programs for Afghan society such as women empowerment, SME development, health, law enforcement, and governance.
"Indonesia is also ready to provide 100 scholarships for Afghan students," he continued.
In bilateral talks, President Ghani has repeatedly expressed his appreciation for President Jokowi's commitment to the peace process in Afghanistan, through cooperation in the context of Peace Building.
Accompanying President during the talks were Coordinating Minister for the Economy Darmin Nasution, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung, Special Staff Coordinator of President Teten Masduki and Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Afghanistan Arief Rachman. (Release by Protocol, Press and Media of Secretariat of the President)