Today, India and Indonesia today, May 30, have agreed to upgrade bilateral relations by signing as many as 15 agreements on various areas like defense, trade, maritime affairs, investment, and more. The meeting also experienced Modi appreciating and inviting Indonesian businesses to make the most out of the ‘Make in India’ initiative.
The 15 agreements represent the cooperation of the two countries in further areas such as science and technology, exploration and usage of outer space, health, pharmaceuticals, railways, capacity building of public officials, optimizing cooperation between ASEAN and India, and communication between governments and think tanks.
They agreed to make economies open, with hopes to complete a comprehensive economic partnership within 2018, after meeting the visiting Indian PM Narendra Modi. – Jokowi Widodo, Indonesian President
Widodo also added that more Indian tourists are visiting his country, with a sharp rise of 28% to almost 500,000 in 2017, and that India is the largest export trading partner of Indonesia in South and Central Asia, bearing a value of around $15 billion. Sources say that the agreement eyes to take this valuation up to triple, to $50 billion by 2025, doubling efforts.
A joint statement states that the two leaders will agree to hold annual summit meetings, “including on the margins of multilateral events.” Also, the Indonesian transport minister said that their port at Sabang will be a transshipment port in two years of development.
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Meanwhile, analysts note that the India-Indonesia agreements on defense and maritime upgrades come at a concerning time regarding the Chinese rise of maritime influence in the region.
Some other notable areas that are impacted by the agreements are potential economic openings in various areas, promotion of energy efficiency and renewable energy technologies, enhancement of air traffic rights, and resolving trade and investment issues in palm oil products and industries.
On the other hand, Modi is on a three-nation visit spree, starting with Indonesia, and upcoming tours include Malaysia and Singapore. Tomorrow, May 31, he is scheduled to meet Mahathir Mohamad, the recently elected PM of Malaysia.