Indonesia to capture huge chance in Bangladesh

25 March, 2013 | Source: The Jakarta Post

Indonesia opened a new chapter in bilateral ties with Bangladesh, committing to enhance contacts between public officials and the private sector in a bid to expand cooperation in one of the major non-traditional markets for Indonesian products.


During his two-day visit in Dhaka, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa met with his Bangladeshi counterpart Dipu Moni on Thursday, followed by a courtesy call with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina on Friday.

“Our meeting has created positive momentum for the two countries to continue working together to bolster cooperation and advance our relations in all areas,” Marty said in a release sent to The Jakarta Post on Friday.

The two ministers discussed ways to explore initiatives to develop cooperation in various areas including trade and investment, agriculture, defense, education, food security, good governance, counterterrorism, research and technology as well as disaster mitigation and management.

Marty said that bilateral relations with Bangladesh, the world’s fourth largest Muslim population, remained strong since 1972.

In 2012, trade value between Indonesia and Bangladesh was recorded at US$1.17 billion. Bangladesh’s economy in the past three years has consistently grown above 6 percent.

Indonesia and Bangladesh are categorized under the so-called “Next Eleven” (N-11), a concept created by Goldman Sachs’ Jim O’Neill in 2005, in which he identified the next eleven emerging countries that could have a BRIC-like impact on the world economy.

The N-11 comprises Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Korea, Mexico, Nigeria, Pakistan, Philippines, Turkey and Vietnam.

Marking the first working visit to Bangladesh, Marty noted that the close friendship between President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Prime Minister Hasina had contributed to the strengthening ties.

Both ministers concluded with an exchange of notes for the ratification of the Agreement on Visa Exemption for Holders of Diplomatic/Services Passports signed by the two countries in August 2010.

Indonesia and Bangladesh agreed to the convening of the forthcoming third meeting of the joint commission for bilateral cooperation in Bangladesh in 2013/2014 at the ministerial level. The two previous meetings in 2007 and 2010 were led by the respective senior officials at the director general level.

Besides bilateral issues, the ministers also discussed regional challenges including the Rohingyas.

 

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