S'pore, Indonesia foreign ministers to meet, discuss leaders' retreat

Indonesia's Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi arrived in Singapore yesterday.

She will be staying until tomorrow to discuss plans ahead of a leaders' retreat, which will be the fifth such meeting between the two neighbours' heads of government.

Indonesia's Foreign Ministry spokesman Teuku Faizasyah told The Straits Times that Ms Retno will meet her counterpart Vivian Balakrishnan in Singapore.

"The planned meeting of both foreign ministers was earlier postponed due to the Covid-19 pandemic," he said. He did not disclose other details.

In October, Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong hosted Indonesia's President Joko Widodo during last year's Leaders' Retreat.

That was about a week before Mr Joko was sworn in to begin his second term in office.

At that time, the two leaders recognised that the bilateral relationship had strengthened substantially over Mr Joko's first five-year term and was a solid foundation on which to advance mutually beneficial cooperation in a range of areas.

They agreed to boost tie-ups in the digital economy and in the industrial parks, tourism and infrastructure sectors, as well as strengthen the flow of trade and investments.

They also agreed to renew a US$10 billion (S$13.7 billion) bilateral financial arrangement between the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Bank Indonesia, sealed at the previous year's Leaders' Retreat, to help support monetary and financial stability in the region.

Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi is in Singapore to discuss plans ahead of a leaders' retreat between the nations' heads of government.

Noting growing security cooperation, they said their good working relationship and strong ties enabled both sides to discuss longstanding issues, such as airspace management and military training, in an open and constructive manner.

They also said that they welcomed the agreed-upon discussion framework for these issues.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 25, 2020, with the headline 'S'pore, Indonesia foreign ministers to meet, discuss leaders' retreat'. Print Edition | Subscribe