Distinction in travel journalism
Is independent travel journalism important to you?
Click here to keep it independent

12 Oct, 2013

India-Indonesia Strategic Partnership Pact to Boost Intra-Asian Travel


Indian Prime Minister’s Office, 11-October, 2013 – India and Indonesia are to step up travel & tourism exchanges, cultural and educational links as part of Strategic Partnership Agreement discussed during Indian Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh’s official visit to Indonesia from 10 to 12 October 2013. The increased trade, investment and other contacts between Asia’s second and third most populous countries will further grow travel & tourism flows within the Asia-Pacific and accelerate the rise of the Asian Century.

Following is the full text of the Joint Statement on five initiatives for strengthening the India-Indonesia Strategic Partnership.

1. The President of Indonesia, H. E. Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono welcomed the Prime Minister of India H. E. Dr. Manmohan Singh on an official visit to Indonesia from 10 to 12 October 2013. This is the first bilateral visit to Indonesia by H. E. Dr. Manmohan Singh; earlier, he had visited Indonesia for the Asian-African Summit and the Commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of the Asian-African Conference of 1955, held in Bandung in April 2005 and for the 9th ASEAN-India Summit and the 6th East Asia Summit in November 2011. The two Leaders held extensive talks on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest on 11 October 2013.

2. The Leaders acknowledged that both India and Indonesia were friendly neighbours, have close historical and cultural contacts, a shared commitment to the values of democracy, pluralism and diversity, and as large, dynamic economies with strong complementarities and common challenges, were natural partners.

3. The Leaders noted that the development in the relationship had acquired a new momentum following the establishment of a Strategic Partnership during the State Visit of the President of Indonesia H. E. Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono to India in November 2005 and received a fillip after the adoption of a Joint Statement for defining the ‘Vision for the India- Indonesia New Strategic Partnership over the coming decade’ during the visit of the President of Indonesia to India in January 2011.

4. The Leaders agreed to adopt a five-pronged initiative for strengthening the Strategic Partnership with the objective of taking the robust, multifaceted cooperation to even greater heights.

I. Strategic Engagement

5. The President of Indonesia and the Prime Minister of India agreed to hold Annual Summits, including on the margins of multilateral events. They stressed the importance of continuing regular bilateral consultations through the robust architecture of dialogue in place, including the Ministerial and Working Group Mechanisms. They expressed satisfaction at the regular convening of the Joint Commission Meeting and the launch of Foreign Office Consultations. It was agreed to hold the Joint Commission Meeting on an annual basis. They directed the two Foreign Ministries to continue to hold regular consultations on bilateral, regional, multilateral and international issues and to coordinate cooperation activities. The Leaders noted that the sectoral Joint Working Groups on Education, Tourism, Coal, Oil and Gas, Agriculture, Counter Terrorism and Science & Technology were functioning well and had come up with concrete outcomes. They urged them to focus on time-bound implementation of the agreed measures to boost sectoral cooperation.

6. The Leaders noted with satisfaction that regular exchange of delegations between the two Parliaments have helped in sharing views, experiences and best practices. They encouraged regular exchange of visits by judicial institutions, Election Commissions and political parties, which would contribute to the further strengthening of bilateral ties and democratic values. They welcomed the signing of Memorandum of Understanding for International Cooperation on Combating Corruption between the Central Vigilance Commission (CVC) of India and the Komisi Pemberantasan Korupsi (KPK) of Indonesia.

7. The Leaders welcomed the constitution of the India-Indonesia Eminent Persons Group (EPG) and tasked the Group to prepare, within a year, a Vision Document 2025 for India-Indonesia relations. In this regard, they welcomed the agreed Terms of Reference to constitute the EPG and directed an early meeting of the Group.

8. The Leaders acknowledged the increasing intensity of collaboration between the Indian Space Research Organization (ISRO) and the National Institute of Aeronautics and Space of Indonesia (LAPAN). They encouraged LAPAN and ISRO to expedite the conclusion of the Inter-Governmental Framework Agreement on Cooperation in the Exploration and Uses of Outer Space for Peaceful Purposes with a broader scope to replace the 2002 MoU on Cooperation in the field of Outer Space Research and Development, as well as the Agreement on Transfer of Title of the Integrated Biak Telemetry, Tracking and Command (TTC) Station, and the Implementing Agreement for the Utilisation of the Biak TTC Facility for ISRO’s Satellite and Launch Vehicles Programmes. Indonesia welcomed India’s offer of further up-gradation of the Biak TTC – to receive data from its OceanSat and ResourceSat satellites that have applications in hydrography, weather forecasting, disaster management, crop forecasting and resource mapping; and training programmes for Indonesian officials at the Center for Space Science Technology Education in Asia and the Pacific (CSSTEAP), under ASEAN-India Space Cooperation project. ISRO and LAPAN would work towards launch of Indonesian micro satellites into space using Indian launch vehicles.

9. The two sides agreed to renew the Agreement on Cooperation regarding the Utilisation of Nuclear Energy for Peaceful Purposes.

II. Defence and Security Cooperation

10. The Leaders reaffirmed that India and Indonesia as strategic partners and maritime neighbours with a common interest in the maintenance of regional peace and security must work to further strengthen and broaden the already robust defence cooperation. They noted with satisfaction that the commencement of the Defence Ministers’ Dialogue and regular convening of the Joint Defence Cooperation Committee (JDCC) Meetings and Staff Talks established between the Armies and the Navies of the two countries have resulted in enhancement of defence cooperation between the two countries. The two sides agreed to enhance exchanges between their respective Air Forces, including the establishment of Staff Talks, as necessary. They also agreed to continue sharing of information and intelligence, as well as to increase the frequency of exchanges, training and joint exercises, including among Special Forces. They decided to explore collaboration in sale and co-production of defence equipment, mutually agreed defence-related research activities and training and capacity building cooperation between both sides.

11. The two sides agreed to establish linkages between the Center for UN Peacekeeping (CUNPK) of India and the Indonesia Peace and Security Center (IPSC) on United Nations Peacekeeping.

12. They stressed the importance of closer collaboration on capacity building and exchange of best practices in the field of maritime security and hold joint exercises. They also agreed to enhance the existing cooperation and capacity building in the fields of hydrography, joint surveys, and maritime domain awareness.

13. The Leaders noted that the completion of ratification procedure of the Extradition Treaty and Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty in Criminal Matters signed between the two countries in 2011 would strengthen juridical cooperation. The two sides shall explore the possibility to establish cooperation on the issue of transfer of sentenced persons.

14. Recognizing the common threats to national security from global terrorism and other transnational crimes, the Leaders resolved to significantly enhance bilateral cooperation in combating terrorism, terrorist financing, money laundering, arms smuggling, trafficking in human beings, and cyber crime. They reiterated the shared commitment to enhance liaison between the intelligence and law enforcement agencies of both countries and to provide each other with assistance, where needed, to fight these menaces. They commended the Joint Working Group on Counter-Terrorism, which has met regularly. They welcomed the signing of the MoU on Combating Illicit Trafficking in Narcotics, Drugs, Psychotropic Substances and its Precursors. They directed relevant Agencies from both sides to launch a dialogue on cyber security issues.

15. The Leaders directed officials to work towards a comprehensive action plan on security cooperation.

16. The Leaders welcomed the signing of the MoU on Cooperation in Disaster Management, which will institutionalize regular joint exercises, training cooperation and exchange of delegations to share experiences and best practices, thus augmenting capacities to respond to natural disasters in a more efficient and effective way.

III. Comprehensive Economic Partnership

17. The Leaders expressed satisfaction at the growing trade and investment ties between India and Indonesia and expressed confidence in achieving the bilateral trade target of US$ 25 billion by 2015. They welcomed the commitment of ASEAN and India during the meeting of the 11th ASEAN Economic Minister-India Consultations in Brunei in August 2013 to sign the ASEAN-India Trade-in-Services Agreement and ASEAN-India Investment Agreement and noted that following up on that commitment, the Agreements would be signed on the sidelines of the 9th WTO Ministerial Conference to be held in Bali from 3-6 December 2013. The Leaders directed an early launch of negotiations on an India-Indonesia Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (CECA) that would build upon the ASEAN-India FTA by bringing more depth and coverage.

18. The Leaders desired the early convening of the 2nd meeting of Biennial Trade Ministers’ Forum (BTMF) and the inaugural meeting of the Energy Forum. These Forums should foster continuous dialogue on economic policies with an aim to remove impediments to trade and investment.

19. The Leaders welcomed the meeting between prominent business leaders from both sides for the India-Indonesia CEOs’ Forum in Jakarta on 10 October 2013. They urged the CEOs’ Forum to hold regular dialogue and provide the Leaders with their candid and constructive advice on measures to further enhance bilateral trade and investment relations.

20. The Leaders agreed to establish a High-Level Task Force to effectively monitor implementation of Business-to-Business MoUs; facilitate investment in each other’s national infrastructure development plans, including through PPP mode; and identify specific projects for joint investment in India, Indonesia or third countries. They encouraged the relevant Ministries, Agencies, Research Associations and Think Tanks to work together on organizing regular seminars, workshops and business exploration tours, especially focusing on micro, small and medium industries. They urged relevant Ministries to expedite the negotiations of the MoU on Cooperation in Roads, Highways and Transport Sector to provide an enabling framework for investment in each other’s road transport and highways sector.

21. The Leaders also stressed that bilateral cooperation on standards and conformance is important to facilitate trade between the two countries. In this regard, the Indonesian National Standardization Agency (BSN) and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) should intensify work towards an MoU on Standardisation and Conformity Assessment Cooperation. Both India and Indonesia agreed to cooperate in promotion of energy efficiency technologies, new and renewable energy technologies, with the shared aspiration to ensure energy security.

22. With a view to facing the challenges in food security, the Leaders encouraged the implementation of recommendations of the Joint Working Group on Agriculture and the Joint Technical Committee on Fisheries in a holistic manner. They directed that steps be taken to provide mutual access facilitation for agro-products, fish and fishery products and called for collaboration in the areas of joint research, technology development, capacity building and exchange of scientists.

23. The Leaders welcomed the signing of the MoU on Health Cooperation that would pave the way for closer collaboration in tackling common health challenges. They also directed both sides to expand mutually beneficial cooperation in the pharmaceutical sector. They also agreed that both countries forge closer cooperation in generic medication. Noting that both countries faced common development challenges of poverty alleviation, child protection, women empowerment, environmental conservation, and urbanization-related issues, they urged both sides to continue discussions to address these challenges.

24. The Leaders highlighted the importance of food security for the peoples of both countries and agreed to work together and with other partners towards concrete actions in food security mechanisms, research and development and in international bodies.

25. The Leaders stressed the importance of strengthening cooperation in the areas of science and technology and directed that the Programme of Cooperation be finalized at the earliest and to develop a road map for concrete collaboration in the agreed areas of cooperation, such as biotechnology, marine, agriculture, information and communication technology, health and medicine, energy, disaster management, aeronautics and space technology.

26. Recognizing the significance of connectivity for enhancement of trade and tourism, the Leaders welcomed the agreement to establish direct flights by Batik Air and code sharing services between Jet Airways and Garuda Indonesia. They also encouraged promotion of direct shipping links and private sector investment in port development projects, including through Public-Private Partnerships.

27. The Leaders noted the agreement to establish a Joint Working Group to promote cooperation in the fields of meteorology, climatology, including climate variability and change, geophysics and early warning of coastal hazards as well as related issues through development of science and technology applications and creating disaster risk management community effectively in a timely manner. Both sides agreed to work both bilaterally and within the ASEAN framework for closer cooperation in the field of environmental conservation and biodiversity preservation.

IV. Cultural and People-to-People Links

28. The Leaders committed to build upon the close historical and cultural links through promotion of art, literature, music and dance under the Cultural Exchange Programme. Recognizing the popularity and impact of films on the youth and in tourism promotion, the two sides agreed to encourage cooperation between two film industries in production and post-production activities.

29. The Leaders underscored the importance of investment in education and human resource development to harness the youth dividend that India and Indonesia enjoyed. Both sides agreed to work on the institutionalization of university-to-university linkages to facilitate faculty exchange, teachers’ training, double-degree programmes under the framework of the Joint Working Group on Education. They agreed to establish Chairs for Indian Studies in Indonesian Universities and for Indonesian Studies in Indian Universities. They agreed to extend scholarships for studies in tourism and hospitality sector, and promote familiarization trips for travel writers and tour operators in a bid to promote tourism. They also agreed to expand the scholarships offered to students by each other for both short-term training and regular degree courses.

30. Indonesia appreciated the inauguration of the Vocational Training Centre constructed by the Indian side in Aceh, and warmly welcomed the offer by India to establish another Vocational Training Centre in Papua.

31. The Leaders recognised the importance of Nalanda University as an international institution of excellence, and welcomed the decision of the East Asia Summit endorsing the Memorandum of Understanding on the establishment of the Nalanda University. The Indonesian side expressed its desire to be associated with the development of the Nalanda University.

32. The Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration (LBSNAA), India and National Institute of Public Administration (NIPA), Indonesia signed an MoU to institutionalize the ongoing training exchanges of civil servants between the two countries.

33. Both sides agreed to enhance concrete cooperation on youth and sports affairs, including in the fields of sports science and technology, sports industry, and to promote greater interaction among coaches, players, experts, and relevant Government agencies.

V. Cooperation in Responding to Common Challenges

34. The Leaders recalled the elevation of the ASEAN-India relations to the level of a Strategic Partnership during the ASEAN-India Commemorative Summit, held in New Delhi in December 2012. They reiterated the commitment of the two countries to work towards realization of the Vision Statement, adopted on that occasion. Both sides agreed to continue close coordination in the ASEAN-related mechanisms such as the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+). They also noted the outcomes of the 2nd Expanded ASEAN Maritime Forum, as a forum to strengthen ASEAN sectoral bodies and to discuss important maritime issues.

35. The Indonesian side welcomed the announcement by India of the appointment of an Ambassador of India to ASEAN.

36. Realizing that the international community faced common challenges of increasing the momentum of global economic recovery, both sides agreed that as key members of the international community, India and Indonesia must work together effectively in fora like the UN, UNFCC, WMO, WTO and the G-20 to help achieve consensus on common and collective approaches to these important issues.

37. The Leaders noted that India and Indonesia, as two large countries straddling the Indian Ocean, have a high stake in ensuring the effectiveness of Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IORARC) in promoting regional cooperation in the fields of Maritime Safety & Security, Trade and Investment Facilitation, Fisheries Management, Disaster Risk Reduction, Academic and Science & Technology Cooperation, and Tourism Promotion and Cultural Exchanges; and the Indian Ocean Naval Symposium (IONS). They welcomed the launch of India-Indonesia-Australia Trilateral Track II Dialogue on Indian Ocean in New Delhi on 19 September 2013.

38. The President of Indonesia and the Prime Minister of India concluded their meeting with a reiteration of the strong commitment of India and Indonesia, as two leading emerging nations and as Strategic Partners, of their resolve to work towards forging ever closer links in politico-security, economic and socio-cultural spheres between the two countries to ensure regional peace, progress and prosperity.

39. The Prime Minister of India, H. E. Dr. Manmohan Singh expressed his appreciation and gratitude to the President of Indonesia, H. E. Dr. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, and the people of Indonesia for their exemplary warmth and hospitality during the visit.