Indonesia, Vietnam optimistic of meeting US$15 bln trade target

Labuan Bajo, The Indonesia Post – President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Vietnamese Prime Minister Pham Minh Chinh have expressed optimism that the two countries will achieve the target of increasing bilateral trade to US$15 billion by 2028.

“They are both optimistic that the target will be met on the condition that all trade barriers can be reduced, if not completely eliminated,” Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi said in a press statement released here on Tuesday after attending a series of bilateral meetings.

According to her, the two leaders made the statement regarding the trade target during a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 42nd ASEAN Summit in Labuan Bajo, West Manggarai, East Nusa Tenggara, on Tuesday.

The two countries agreed on the trade target when President Widodo received a state visit by former Vietnamese president Nguyen Xuan Puc at Bogor Presidential Palace, West Java, on December 22, 2022.

The two countries made the pact after realizing that the US$10 billion trade target they had set for 2023 had been exceeded in 2021 by US$11.06 billion.

At that time, Widodo had highlighted Indonesian agricultural products that still faced barriers in entering the Vietnamese market.

Apart from discussing the trade target on Tuesday, the two leaders also agreed to immediately negotiate the Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT) considering the increasing investment from both parties, Marsudi informed.

“The two leaders also agreed to increase cooperation in the field of new and renewable energy,” she said.

President Widodo and PM Chinh also agreed to accelerate the arrangement, implementation, and ratification of the results of the Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) negotiations.

The negotiations related to EEZ boundary lines between the two countries were completed after an intensive process that lasted 12 years and was carried out based on the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) 1982. (mhn/bbs)


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