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Wednesday, 25 January 2023 13:56

Foreign Minister: Indonesia Wants to Be Part of African Economic Development

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Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi separately received the visit of the Minister of Foreign Affairs, International Cooperation and Gambian Citizens Abroad, H.E. Dr. Mamadou Tangara, and the visit of the Guinean Minister of Transport, Y.M Felix Lamah. The two meetings were held at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Tuesday (24/1) in Jakarta.

The meeting with the Gambian Foreign Minister discussed cooperation within the framework of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) forum and various opportunities to increase bilateral cooperation.

Regarding Gambia's plan to host the 15th OIC Summit at the end of this year, Foreign Minister Retno expressed hope that the OIC Summit could produce concrete deliverables.

"Indonesia supports Gambia to be able to produce cooperation that benefits the people of OIC member countries, including through cooperation to fulfill the right to education for Afghan women, as well as cooperation to strengthen capacity in agriculture," said Retno.

Foreign Minister Retno also conveyed Indonesia's readiness to provide protocol training and international trials to Gambia in order to increase Gambia's readiness to hold the OIC Summit.

"Indonesia wants to be part of the success story of African economic development," said Foreign Minister Retno.

In particular, the two Ministers of Foreign Affairs discussed the follow-up of several initiatives in the 2018 Indonesia-Africa Forum and the 2019 Indonesia-Africa Infrastructure Dialogue. Foreign Minister Retno also conveyed Indonesia's commitment to help renovate the Agricultural Rural Farmers Training Center (ARFTC) in Jenoi, Gambia, which Indonesia built in 1996. With this renovation, it was hoped that ARFTC would become a regional hub for training farmers in West Africa.

Foreign Minister Retno and Foreign Minister Tangara also discussed the Preferential Trade Agreement plan between Indonesia and the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), which was proposed by Indonesia since 2017. Foreign Minister Tangara expressed Gambia's readiness to follow up on this PTA plan.

In the health sector, Foreign Minister Retno informed that the Covid-19 vaccine made in Indonesia, IndoVac, is currently in the process of submitting an Emergency Use Listing from WHO. Foreign Minister Retno wants Indonesia to be further involved in the Gambia health program.

Meanwhile, in her meeting with the Guinean Minister of Transportation, Y.M Felix Lamah, Foreign Minister Retno discussed increasing bilateral relations, especially in the strategic industrial, infrastructure and transportation sectors.

Foreign Minister Retno welcomed the plan to sign a Letter of Intent (Loi) in the field of transportation between the Minister of Transportation RI and Guinea on January 26 2023.

"We will translate this agreement into real cooperation, especially in the fields of air, maritime and land (rail) transportation, both G-to-G and B-to-B," said Retno.

Apart from that, Foreign Minister Retno also encouraged cooperation between Indonesian BUMNs and their partners in Guinea. Furthermore, the two Ministers also discussed capacity building cooperation, including for the development of the aviation industry and the establishment of Guinea Air, which could include pilot training, mechanics and aircraft maintenance.

Apart from meeting with the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Guinean Minister of Transportation is also planning to visit PT Dirgantara Indonesia to discuss support for the formation of Guinea Air and PT Wika Industri Manufaktur to explore cooperation in the development of the electric vehicle industry. (VOI/Andy)

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