Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi met her Norwegian counterpart Borge Brende for the second Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation (JCBC) meeting here on Monday.
“Today, we will hold two meetings. The first is the 12th Indonesia-Norway Dialog on Human Rights, which is one of the important pillars of our bilateral relations, while the other is the second JCBC meeting,” Minister Marsudi stated.
The first JCBC meeting was held in Oslo on June 17, 2015, and produced an agreement to increase cooperation in the maritime and fishery sector and efficiency in the bilateral dialog mechanism.
During the second JCBC meeting, the two ministers discussed ways to boost cooperation in three main areas: trade and investment, maritime and fishery, and environment.
Indonesia has pushed for greater access for its products in the Norwegian market and increased cooperation between the business players of both countries.
“With regard to trade and investment, there has been an increase in the value of trade reaching almost US$300 million in 2015, but there is still room for further development of bilateral trade,” she stated.
“We have encouraged Norwegian investment in maritime and infrastructure projects in Indonesia,” she pointed out.
Norway is Indonesias second-biggest trade partner among the Nordic countries and the 12th-biggest in Europe.
The value of trade between Indonesia and Norway reached $291.9 million in 2015, while the value of direct investment from that country in the year in the areas of water exploitation, basic chemical industries, and renewable energy reached $1.8 million.
With regard to environment, Minister Marsudi hoped the two countries will increase cooperation in the efforts to reduce carbon emissions and to deal with climate change.
“We have also reiterated our commitment to strengthening the REDD+ (Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation) cooperation. We hope that potential forest fires and gas emissions will be reduced with the presence of sound cooperation under the context of REDD+,” she affirmed.
In the maritime and fishery sector, Minister Marsudi said the two countries should continue to strengthen cooperation in eradicating IUU (illegal, unreported, unregulated) fishing and in capacity building in fisheries and fish culture.
The minister also emphasized the importance of deepening people-to-people contacts between the two countries in the fields of culture and social relations.
Besides discussing bilateral issues, the two ministers also touched on regional and global issues, including the situation in the Middle East.
“We also discussed the situation in the Middle East, and we agreed that peace and stability in the Middle East are important for global peace and stability,” she added.