Marchio Irfan Gorbiano, Jakarta – President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo and Abu Dhabi's Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) held a bilateral discussion on Wednesday in an event expected to bolster ties between the two countries.
They were expected to discuss ways to advance their economic partnership, among other bilateral issues, during the talks at Bogor Palace, West Java.
Jokowi welcomed bin Zayed at Soekarno Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten, on Wednesday morning for what marks the first state visit of a UAE leader in almost three decades, following that of bin Zayed's father and then-UAE president Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan al-Nahyan in 1990.
Before heading to Bogor, Jokowi and bin Zayed's entourage took a slight detour to the iconic Hotel Indonesia traffic circle in Central Jakarta as the President wanted to showcase Indonesia's development to the UAE crown prince.
Following a lavish welcoming ceremony, the two leaders held a brief tete-a-tete on the veranda of Bogor Palace. They also planted a dammar pine in a symbol of strong ties between the two countries.
Jokowi and bin Zayed then proceeded with bilateral talks, which were expected to revolve around strengthening economic ties.
Energy and Mineral Resources Ministry Ignasius Jonan previously said that the two leaders were expected to ink some investment deals during the meeting, including that for a refinery development master plan (RDMP) in Balikpapan, East Kalimantan, a petrochemical project with producer PT Chandra Asri Petrochemical as well as another joint venture project between DP World and diversified conglomerate Maspion Group in East Java.
The projects were worth around US$9 billion to $10 billion, Jonan added.
The UAE is Indonesia's 19th-largest export destination, according to Trade Ministry data, with non-oil and gas exports to the Middle Eastern kingdom recorded at $592 million in the first five months of this year. (afr)