SBY and Sang agree to solve the sea dispute peacefully

03 July, 2013 | Source: The Jakarta Post

The first official visit by Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang highlighted the importance of a strategic bilateral partnership and a peaceful resolution to the South China Sea dispute.


 “We agreed to realize a strategic partnership that would bring real benefits to both countries, as well as internationally,” Yudhoyono told a joint press conference after the meeting at the State Palace, Jakarta, on Thursday.

The issue regarding the territorial dispute in the South China Sea, or as Vietnam calls it the East Sea, was also up for discussion.

Four ASEAN member states and China all lay claim to areas in the South China Sea. Many fear the disputes could lead to armed conflict.

“We talked about the issue in order to solve the problem peacefully. The spirit is to have a peaceful resolution,” Yudhoyono said.

The two leaders hope to realize what has been agreed by ASEAN and China, moving from the Declaration on the Conduct [DoC] of parties in the South China Sea to a Code of Conduct [CoC] on the South China Sea, which would be advantageous for all parties.

According to Yudhoyono, the two countries would support each other’s bids to be a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council next term.

In additional to over 30 agreements signed since diplomatic ties were first established in late 1955, an extradition treaty on criminal matters, mutual legal assistance in law enforcement agreement and a memorandum of understanding on agriculture cooperation were all signed.

Both countries, following a Friendly and Comprehensive Partnership Agreement in 2003 and a Strategic Partnership Action Plan 2012-2015 in 2011, set a bilateral trade target of US$5 billion by 2015.

Trade between Indonesia and Vietnam has increased over the last few years. Last year, trade value reached $4.86 billion, compared to $4.7 billion in 2011.

Indonesia mainly imports rice, steel, textiles and footwear from Vietnam, while it exports wood, paper, electronic goods and chemicals.

Sang, along with representatives from Vietnam’s top 20 companies, is set to have direct meetings with 10 Indonesian CEOs on Friday.

Indonesia’s PT Semen Gresik has bought a 70 percent stake in Vietnam’s biggest cement company, Thang Long, for $157 million.

 

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