JAKARTA, KOMPAS.com – Indonesia and the US signed a $750 million memorandum of understanding (MoU) to deepen cooperation on infrastructure development and trade in Washington DC on Wednesday, November 18.
Signing on behalf of the Indonesian government was the country’s envoy to the US Muhammad Lutfi, while the US was represented by Export-Import Bank (Exim) president and chairman Kimberly A. Reed. Coordinating Maritime Affairs and Investment Minister Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan stood as witness for the signing ceremony.
Ambassador Lutfi said that Indonesia-US bilateral relations was based on shared values in realizing the people’s welfare, advancing democracy and regional stability. This cooperation aims to strengthen the relations between the two countries.
“This MoU will further strengthen the Indonesia-US economic partnership to expand the cooperation in the field of investment and providing goods and services,” Lutfi said in a statement on Thursday, November 19.
The MoU also reaffirmed the commitment of the two nations to strengthen economic cooperation, particularly in the field of infrastructure financing, investment, and trade. The newly signed agreement worth $750 million is a renewal of the previous agreement that was worth half a billion dollars, the statement added.
Minister Luhut expressed his optimism for the improved bilateral relations between Indonesia and the US, with the recent achievements, including an extension of the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) facility. This provides duty-free entry into the US market for some 3,500 exports from Indonesia.
“Also, the US expressed commitment to participate in the infrastructure development in Indonesia,” Luhut said.
Meanwhile, Kimberly Reed said that the agreement was a significant achievement to strengthen US participation in the development in Indonesia. This includes the development in the energy sector, infrastructure, transportation, information and communication technology, health services, and the environment.
“The MoU reflects how important Indonesia is to the US government,” said Kimberly.
The MoU will pave the way for expanding opportunities in providing goods and services for the government projects, she said.
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