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Coordinating Minister Airlangga visits Russia to promote economic and investment cooperation

Jakarta Globe - June 12, 2024

Jakarta – In a bid to enhance economic cooperation with various countries and boost exports to maintain the national trade surplus, Chief Economic Minister Airlangga Hartarto embarked on a working visit and held several bilateral meetings in Moscow, Russia, from June 10 to 12.

During his visit, Minister Airlangga met with several ministers and CEOs of leading Russian companies. He is also scheduled to receive the Medal for Contribution to International Cooperation from the Russian government and celebrate Russia Day on June 12.

On the first day of his visit, Minister Airlangga had a special meeting with Andrey Slepnev, Trade Minister of the Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC). They discussed various strategic cooperation issues in the economic and trade sectors, including the acceleration of the Indonesia-Eurasian Economic Union Free Trade Agreement (Indonesia-EAEU FTA) negotiations and solutions to eliminate trade barriers between the two parties.

"Indonesia encourages the acceleration of the Indonesia-EAEU FTA negotiations, which are expected to be completed this year. This will benefit businesses looking to expand into Eastern Europe and Central Asia," said Minister Airlangga.

Minister Airlangga emphasized Indonesia's ongoing efforts to increase palm oil exports to EAEU member countries, noting that Indonesian palm oil meets health and sustainability standards.

Minister Slepnev echoed similar hopes for concluding the negotiations. "The EEC also hopes the negotiation process will be completed by July in Indonesia. We believe a free trade agreement with Indonesia will strengthen the economic cooperation foundation between Indonesia and the five EAEU member countries," Minister Slepnev explained.

Regarding Indonesia's concern about palm oil, Minister Slepnev stated that there are no barriers imposed by the EAEU. "The EAEU will not adopt discriminatory policies like the European Union against Indonesian palm oil. The EAEU fully supports cooperation in the agricultural sector, including fertilizers," he said.

Following the meeting with Minister Slepnev, Minister Airlangga held an informal meeting with the Chairman of the Russian State Duma, Vyacheslav Volodin, at the State Duma Building. This meeting, attended by parliament members from both countries, discussed enhancing inter-parliamentary cooperation between Indonesia and Russia.

Later in the afternoon, Minister Airlangga met with leaders of prominent Russian companies, including a meeting with Kiril Komarov, First Deputy CEO for Corporate Development and International Business of JSC Rosatom. They discussed plans for cooperation in nuclear energy development for electricity and non-energy uses such as healthcare and agriculture.

"Rosatom has extensive experience in comprehensive cooperation with Indonesia, covering not just construction but also detailed socio-economic analysis," Deputy Komarov stated.In response, Minister Airlangga highlighted Indonesia's focus on clean energy as part of the energy transition efforts by the Indonesian government. "Nuclear energy can be a viable option for providing electricity without harming the environment. Russia is also invited to collaborate on developing renewable energy in Indonesia, reflecting the Indonesian government's commitment to the energy transition process initiated several years ago," Minister Airlangga explained.

Concluding the first day's agenda, Minister Airlangga met with Sergey Alexandrovsky, CEO of Public Joint Stock Company (PJSC) Aeroflot, Russia's national airline. CEO Alexandrovsky reiterated Aeroflot's desire to revive direct flights between Moscow and Bali.

Minister Airlangga responded by stating that direct flights could strengthen ties between the two countries. "Direct flights from cities in Indonesia and Russia will facilitate increased tourist visits and aid the flow of export-import logistics, thereby strengthening the economies of both Indonesia and Russia," Minister Airlangga stated.

During these meetings, Minister Airlangga was accompanied by Secretary of the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs Susiwijono Moegiarso, Indonesian Ambassador to Moscow Jose Tavares, several leaders of parliamentary commissions, special staff from the Ministry of State Secretariat, and expert teams from the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/special-updates/coordinating-minister-airlangga-visits-russia-to-promote-economic-and-investment-cooperatio