JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – US President Donald Trump expressed his appreciation to Indonesian President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo for the improved economic relations between their countries.
This was conveyed by Trump when receiving Indonesian Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan at the White House in Washington DC on Tuesday, November 17.
“During the meeting, Trump expressed his appreciation to President Jokowi for the improvement in economic cooperation that the two nations has so far,” said a statement from the ministry on Wednesday, November 18.
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Luhut conveyed Jokowi’s appreciation to the outgoing US President who supports the cooperation between the two nations, including the recent extension of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) facility for Indonesia. The program provides duty-free entry into the US market for some 3,500 exports from designated beneficiary developing countries, including Indonesia.
He also hoped that the Indonesia-US cooperation will remain strong in the new US administration next year.
“I hope the already good communication with the White House will continue after January 2021,” the senior minister said.
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Also present during the vist was Indonesia’s Ambassador to the US Muhammad Lutfi, two of Trump’s advisors Jared Kushner and Ivanka Trump as well as US International Development Finance Corporation chief executive officer Adam Boehler.
Luhut was then also received by US Vice President Mike Pence in his office. The statement said that Pence offered joint vaccine production cooperation between US and Indonesian companies.
Separately, Luhut met with US National Security Advisor Robert O’Brien, discussing strategic partnerships between the two countries in the fields of defense and technology as well as exchanging views on global geopolitics.
Meetings with various organizations
Luhut’s tight schedule during the working visit to the US also included his meeting with US political figures from both Democratic and Republican Parties.
“Today's meetings were fruitful because I did not expect the good responses from the World Bank, International Monetary Fund, Asia Group, and the US Trade Representatives which became the main purpose of our visit,” he said.
“And last but not least was the dinner attended by representatives of both [political] parties. This reflected our true friendship,” he added.
In the meeting with Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund Kristalina Georgieva and World Bank President David Malpass, they discussed the handling of the Covid-19 pandemic, national economic recovery, and Indonesia's efforts to maintain and improve its environmental issues.
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Malpass was briefed about the Job Creation Law, which can provide great benefits for the Indonesian people.
“I was very happy to be able to discuss the Omnibus Law on Job Creation with Minister Pandjaitan. Its implementation will provide many benefits for the Indonesian people,” said Malpass.
Furthermore, Luhut also expressed appreciation to US Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer for the extension of the GSP facility, which will provide opportunities for employment and many small and medium enterprises in Indonesia.
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Lighthizer revealed that initially, he expected the GSP facility for Indonesia would not be extended as it was done to India and Turkey. However, due to the good cooperation between the US and Indonesia, such a decision was then canceled.
Luhut also met with the Conservation International chief executive officer M. Sanjayan.
The two discussed opportunities for collaborations with private partners for conservation and restoration programs for carbon credit in both coastal areas and terrestrial ecosystems. Sanjayan said that Brazil, Congo, and Indonesia were the key countries because of their forest assets.
(Writer: Ade Miranti Karunia | Editor: Bambang P. Jatmiko)
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