China and Indonesia commit to strengthening trade ties

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China’s Premier Li Keqiang (L) and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo wave at the presidential palace in Bogor on May 7, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / MAST IRHAM)

As part of his official visit to Indonesia, Chinese Premiere Li Keqiang and Indonesian President Joko Widodo signed a series of agreements on trade. President Widodo expressed the strong partnership between both countries, which can act as an advantage to not only promote economic developments but harmony and prosperity as well.

CGTN’s Silkina Ahluwalia reports.
Follow Silkina Ahluwalia on Twitter @Silkina

During their bilateral meeting, both leaders discussed the ways in which they can strengthen trade. Widodo said China is an important export market for the country, especially in terms of commodities such as palm oil, coffee beans and cacao, among many others.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) gestures as Indonesian President Joko Widodo (R) listens as they deliver their press statement after their meeting at the presidential palace in Bogor on May 7, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / DITA ALANGKARA)

 “As a country with more than 1 billion people, China can be a huge market for Indonesia’s commodities and other local products. I spoke to Premier Li on the importance of increasing exports to China and it was very well received by him. By this year, we will increase our palm oil exports to China to a minimum of 500,000 tons.” – Indonesian President Joko Widodo

Aside from trade, Premier Li and President Widodo also discussed the important role the ASEAN region plays. The premier said that for 50 years, the region has contributed to maintaining peace and stability in Southeast Asia.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (R) and Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo (L) plant a tree at the presidential palace in Bogor on May 7, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / BEAWIHARTA)

“It is important for China and Indonesia to work together as we share many mutual interests. I am happy to see the positive growth of Indonesia’s economy. Indonesia is the biggest Southeast Asian country. We believe that Indonesia can be the foundation to build relationships between China and other Southeast Asian countries.” – Chinese Premiere Li Keqiang

Investment also remained a top priority in their discussions. In 2017, China invested a total of $3.3 billion for multiple projects in Indonesia.

Chinese Premier Li Keqiang (L) and Indonesian President Joko Widodo share a light moment as they hold the mascots of the 2018 Asian Games during their meeting at the presidential palace in Bogor on May 7, 2018. (AFP PHOTO / POOL / DITA ALANGKARA)

Premier Li’s official visit further signified how important Indonesia is to China, as both countries work on building tighter relations for future economic, social and cultural developments.