Indonesia And Sweden to Pursue Closer Economic Cooperation’s

Indonesia and Sweden are committed to translating
their existing good political ties into mutually beneficial economic
cooperation, Indonesian Foreign Minister Hassan Wirajuda said.
    Although
the political ties between the two nations were currently in an excellent
condition, their two-way trade was still small, reaching around US$883 million,
Mr Wirajuda said in a joint press conference with his Swedish counterpart, Carl
Bildt, here on Monday evening.
    Hence, a
joint commitment was badly needed to enhance trade and investment relations
between the two countries, Mr Wirajuda said.
    He said at
the meeting with the Swedish foreign minister, the two nations not only agreed
to encourage close bilateral cooperation in all fields but also to enhance
cooperation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the
European Union (EU).
    Meanwhile,
Mr Bildt said the meeting discussed not only bilateral ties but also issues of
mutual concern, including the Myanmar
question, the Middle East conflict and the
global food crisis.
    Mr Bildt
expressed support for President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s proposal for a
high-level meeting to discuss the global food crisis.
    Basically,
the focus of development cooperation between the two nations for the 2005-2009
period is still the same as for the previous five years, with a focus on
democracy, environmental conservation, respect for human rights, prevention of
HIV/AIDS and joint researches.
    The
potential areas of bilateral cooperation that could be developed are a
garbage-to-biofuel conversion project, educational and socio-cultural
cooperation, and investment in forestry, communication, pharmaceutical and
chemical industries.
    The Swedish
development assistance for Indonesia
between 2005 and 2009 rose significantly to US$97.1 million from US$62.8
million previously.
    At the
meeting, the two ministers also discussed Indonesia‘s
call for the lifting of the EU flight ban on Indonesian airlines to fly to Europe.
    Mr Wirajuda
said the Swedish government promised to help Indonesia get the ban lifted.
   
    Mr Bildt also extended an invitation to President
Yudhoyono to visit Sweden
at the end of this year

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