President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono met with Swedish King Carl XVI Gustaf and Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeldt during the President’s “historic” state visit to Stockholm, on Tuesday, strengthening the relationship between the two countries.
“Indonesia wants to be a partner and friend of Sweden in the hope that Sweden will share its experiences in many sectors, so the two countries’ cooperation will be better in the future,” Yudhoyono said in a joint press conference with Reinfeldt after their meeting, as quoted by a statement issued by the Cabinet Secretariat.
Reinfeldt, meanwhile, praised Indonesia’s ability to garner 6 percent economic growth while many European nations were still enduring recession. “This growth, not only contributes to poverty alleviation efforts, but also leads to increased trade cooperation with Indonesia’s partner countries,” he told the press conference.
Among the topics discussed were the possibilities of enhancing cooperation in the economic, healthcare, environmental and educational fields. Yudhoyono and Reinfeldt then witnessed the signing of a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on sustainable urban development; science, technology and innovation; and healthcare at Rosenbard, the prime minister’s office.
After the meeting, the President and First Lady Ani Yudhoyono attended a royal luncheon hosted by Gustaf and Queen Silvia at the royal palace. The two heads of state also held talks at the palace.
Yudhoyono’s meetings with Gustaf and Reinfeldt also included follow up discussions to the Swedish leaders’ visits to Indonesia.
The Swedish king visited Indonesia early in 2012 in his capacity as the Honorary Chairman of the World Scout Foundation while einfeldt made an official visit to Jakarta in November, last year.
From the palace, Yudhoyono went on to a meeting with parliament speaker Per Westerberg. The President and First Lady also attended a dinner as guests of the prime minister.
Swedish Ambassador to Indonesia Ewa Polano deemed Yudhoyono’s visit “historic” because it was the first time an Indonesian president had visited Sweden in more than 50 years. “It shows that Indonesia-Sweden relations have never been stronger and we are now witnessing a large number of cooperation and business agreements being signed by some very important Indonesian and Swedish actors”, Polano said in a press release.
The two countries’ diplomatic relations were established in 1950.
First president Sukarno visited Sweden in May 1959.
Total trade between Indonesia and Sweden amounted to US$1.46 billion in 2012, a 28 percent increase on 2011’s $1.05 billion.