PM Lee and Jokowi to meet in Bali on Oct 11 for Leaders' Retreat

Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean (right) with Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla during his working visit to Indonesia.
Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean (right) with Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla during his working visit to Indonesia. PHOTO: MCI

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian President Joko Widodo will meet in Bali on Oct 11 for their third Leaders' Retreat in as many years, said Deputy Prime Minister Teo Chee Hean.

DPM Teo, who is on a three-day working visit to Jakarta, was speaking to the media yesterday after meeting Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla.

"The purpose of my visit here is to strengthen relations between both countries and also to prepare for the Leaders' Retreat... on Oct 11 this year," said DPM Teo.

The Indonesia-Singapore Leaders' Retreat is a long-held tradition in which leaders of the two close neighbours meet informally each year to boost ties.

President Joko, who goes by his popular moniker Jokowi, took office in October 2014, and hosted his first retreat with PM Lee in Semarang, Central Java, in 2016.

Last year, the two countries marked 50 years of bilateral relations during the second Leaders' Retreat in Singapore.

The upcoming one in Bali will be held just a day before the opening of the International Monetary Fund-World Bank annual meetings on the resort island.

Such retreats have helped enhance bilateral cooperation and led to a series of agreements and joint projects, such as the Kendal Industrial Park (KIP) located just outside Semarang.

DPM Teo yesterday expressed full confidence in Indonesia's successful hosting of the 2018 Asian Games in August, as well as the IMF-World Bank meetings.

He also told Mr Kalla that PM Lee looked forward to meeting President Joko at the next retreat, and added that discussions in Bali will further strengthen cooperation in the KIP, the Nongsa Digital Park on Batam Island and other collaborations in tourism.

Mr Kalla echoed DPM Teo's remarks after their meeting, saying that the good ties between Indonesia and Singapore must be maintained and enhanced.

"The two countries have many cooperation projects such as industrial estates," he said, adding that future cooperation can include opportunities in education, tourism, defence and regional security.

DPM Teo is accompanied by Minister of State for National Development and Manpower Zaqy Mohamad, Senior Parliamentary Secretary for Foreign Affairs and Trade and Industry Tan Wu Meng, MPs Joan Pereira and Henry Kwek, and officials from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

Yesterday, DPM Teo also met and discussed trends and developments in the region with Gerindra Party chief Prabowo Subianto and Democratic Party rising star Agus Harimurti Yudhoyono.

Mr Agus was representing his father and party founder, Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, who was hospitalised on Tuesday.

A party official said the former president was exhausted following a visit to Pacitan regency in East Java and Yogyakarta, and doctors treating the elder statesman had ordered him to rest for "a couple of days".

DPM Teo and the Singapore delegation are scheduled to meet a number of other senior members of the Indonesian government and legislature, including Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto, Minister of Industry Airlangga Hartarto and People's Consultative Assembly Speaker Zulkifli Hasan.

They will also be meeting other political and business leaders before leaving Jakarta tomorrow.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 19, 2018, with the headline 'PM Lee and Jokowi to meet in Bali on Oct 11 for Leaders' Retreat'. Print Edition | Subscribe