24
June

President Joko Widodo held a pull aside meeting with Singaporean PM Lee Hsien Loong before attending the plenary of the 34th ASEAN Summit at Athenee Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand, on Saturday night, June 22 2019. During the meeting, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi accompanied the President.

After accompanying the President, Retno explained that the two leaders discussed the leaders' retreat meeting between the leaders of the two countries. It is planned that the meeting will be held in Singapore in early December.

"The Leaders' Retreat meeting will be held in the first week of December this year in Singapore," said Retno.

Retno then added that the meeting between President Jokowi and PM Lee was quite short. That is because it was done before the plenary session began.

"Because it is done in a pull way, aside from waiting for the plenary meeting to begin," Retno said. (setkab)

24
June

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi)  stressed the importance of security issues in handling the Rakhine State problem in Myanmar. Without security improvements, the problem of repatriation will be difficult.

President Jokowi's statement was conveyed while attending the 34th ASEAN Summit Conference session, and was conveyed again by the Minister of Foreign Affairs (Foreign Minister) Retno Marsudi at a press conference at Athenee Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand, Sunday (23/6) afternoon .

"Once again, the president stressed the problem," said Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, quoting President Jokowi.

The President, the Foreign Minister continued, also paid attention to the communication problems between Myanmar and Bangladesh and the refugees at Cox’s Bazar which were not so smooth, the trust deficit still exists.

Therefore, President Jokowi said that ASEAN could help facilitate communication between Myanmar, Bangladesh and refugees at Cox's Bazar, because the president conveyed communication between Myanmar, Bangladesh and refugees would be a very important part of the entire repatriation process or preparation that would run.

"The President also stressed that it would be better if the plan of action for implementing this recommendation was a timeline. Currently there is already a working group that will be brought to the high level committee, "said the Foreign Minister, adding that the high level committee involved the Government of Myanmar, because we spoke from the start that we worked with the Government of Myanmar.

"Later we will see whether we will be able to develop a time frame for meeting implementation. Because actually the most important thing is there is progress, but if there is a time line it will be easier to measure its progress. So that was emphasized by President Jokowi, "explained the Foreign Minister.

Indo Pacific

Previously Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi conveyed, today is the last day of the ASEAN Summit, and in the context of ASEAN itself there is only one meeting held by the President, namely the 34th ASEAN Summit retreat session. In the retreat leaders usually convey actual issues, issues of concern from the Southeast Asia region.

In the discussion, the Foreign Minister continued, several issues emerged, including the issue of Rakhine State, issues concerning the Indo-Pacific issue, issues regarding RCEP, and issues related to the South China Sea.

Regarding the Indo-Pacific, Minister of Foreign Affairs explained, in the discussion at the retreat earlier, ASEAN leaders thanked Indonesia for initiating the ASEAN Outlook concept for the Indo-Pacific so that at this summit the concept could be adopted.

"Earlier Prime Minister Hun Sen said that with this Outlook, it appears that ASEAN is independent in its attitude in developing views on the Indo-Pacific environment situation, as well as on cooperation that will be carried out," said the Foreign Minister.

During the retreat, President Jokowi emphasized the importance of ASEAN to have an Outlook (insight) on the Indo Pacific issue amid the current global uncertainty situation. "This Outlook reflects the centrality and strength of ASEAN in respecting peace, a culture of dialogue, and strengthening cooperation.

The Foreign Minister explained, even though Outlook is independent in the context that it is an ASEAN Outlook, but this Outlook is not an Outlook that is closed in context then does not open the door for cooperation.

"It is precisely this Outlook that is open and we are ready to collaborate with our partners in implementing the ASEAN perspective on the Indo-Pacific region, especially regarding the problem of cooperation areas, because there are elements regarding areas cooperation," said the Foreign Minister. (setkab)

23
June

On the second day of his visit to Bangkok, Thailand, President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) attended the Opening Ceremony of the 34th ASEAN Summit at the Athenee Hotel on Sunday morning (23/6).

Opening Ceremony of the ASEAN Summit was attended by Malaysian Prime Minister Mahathir Muhamad, Myanmar State Advisor Aung San Suu Kyi, Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Thai PM Prayut Chan, Vietnamese PM Nguyen Xuan Phuc, Brunei Sultan Hassanal Bolkiah, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen, President Joko Widodo and Lao President Bounnhang Vorachith.

The 34th ASEAN Summit was officially opened by Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha.

At the end of the event, President Joko Widodo and other ASEAN leaders jointly inaugurated a satellite warehouse for the Disaster Emergency Logistic System for the ASEAN or DELSA regional supply located in Chainat, Thailand.

The storage warehouse in Chainat Province will enable ASEAN countries and specifically the ASEAN Disaster Management Agency (AHA Center) in Indonesia to mobilize and distribute aid to ASEAN member countries affected by disasters quickly and effectively.

Connected with regional storage warehouses in Malaysia and the Philippines, this storage warehouse in Thailand will further strengthen ASEAN's collective response to dealing with natural disasters under "One ASEAN, One Response" across ASEAN.

The inauguration of the DELSA storage warehouse is part of the theme of ASEAN Leadership "Enhancing Partnerships for Sustainability". (setkab)

24
June

Indonesia and the Philippines are on the same page to establish a small team to intensify trade relations between the two neighboring nations.

"We will set up a small team. We will develop the team to increase trade between Indonesia and the Philippines," Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita remarked on the sidelines of the 34th ASEAN Summit in Bangkok, Thailand, on Saturday.

The team, to constitute officials of both nations' trade ministries, will draft a list of each other's products for bilateral trade, Lukita remarked after holding a bilateral discussion with his Filipino counterpart, Ramon M. Lopez.

"We will also draft a list of issues. Moreover, we also (think of) what we can do together in future to cater to the global demand," Lukita noted.

The team will also be tasked with coming up with a solution to the barriers faced by the two countries, he added.

During the bilateral meeting, Lukita also drew attention to the additional import duties imposed on Indonesia's coffee candy exported to the Philippines.

"The import duties are also imposed on the export of Indonesian ceramic products (to the Philippines). This is actually based on the fact that Indonesia has until now enjoyed a trade surplus with the Philippines," he stated.

To boost bilateral trade, Indonesia had agreed to purchase more products from the Philippines till the time demand from the domestic market exists, he noted.

He remarked that Indonesia's Mayora Group had, so far, imported coconut products from the Philippines. The company is also urged to invest in the Philippines.

"We will not suffer losses if the Indonesian company expands its business there, as we will provide its raw materials," he stated.

Trade between Indonesia and the Philippines recorded a growth of 16.71 percent during the 2014-2018 period.

Solely in the first quarter of 2019, bilateral trade had reached US$1.8 billion, an increase of 3.32 percent, from $1.7 billion in the corresponding time frame a year earlier.  (ant)

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