Estonia-Indonesia set to Raise Bilateral Relations

Estonia-Indonesia set to Raise Bilateral Relations
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Estonian Foreign Minister Urmas Paet and his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa met in Jakarta on Tuesday and were set to raise bilateral relations between their two countries to “a new level”. Paet brought along with him an Estonian business delegation, as talks on expanding trade and investment partnerships between Indonesia and Estonia were high on the agenda of his four-day visit. This is the first official visit made by an Estonian top envoy to Indonesia since the countries opened mutual diplomatic relations in 1993. Paet himself called it a “historical visit”. Marty said the Estonian minister’s visit was a follow-up to their meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly session in New York in September last year, during which they declared a commitment to enhancing their countries’ bilateral relations. Paet has brought Estonian business representatives from the sectors of logistics, infrastructure, maritime security, border management and healthcare, among others. He said he had also been scheduled to meet with Indonesian Communications and Information Minister Tifatul Sembiring, Defense Minister Purnomo Yusgiantoro and Health Minister Endang Rahayu Sedyaningsih. “So far there is still a lot of untapped potential in relations between Indonesia and Estonia,” Paet said in a joint press conference with Marty. Marty said they also discussed in detail pending agreements on protection from double taxation, investment, economy and free visa arrangements for diplomatic passport holders. Paet said he was looking forward to signing those agreements to protect Estonian businesses in Indonesia. Two-way trade between Indonesia and Estonia has been showing a positive trend in the past couple of years, with the total trade value for the January-October 2011 period standing at US$29.8 million, a 54.7 percent increase from $19.27 million in the same period of 2010. Indonesia enjoyed a surplus of $27.33 million in the January-October 2011 period, with its main export commodities including animal and plant fats, paper and paperboard, and wood and wooden products. “We can still enhance the figures. There are plenty of places to enhance our cooperation,” Marty said. The two ministers also discussed cooperation in the field of education. The Indonesian Foreign Ministry said in a press statement that the two countries were exploring partnerships between Indonesian and Estonian higher education institutions. Paet specifically invited Indonesian cyber experts to further learn of cyber security and cyber defense in Estonia, in which he said the country was experienced. He added Indonesia and Bali were becoming popular among Estonians as tourist destinations. Paet arrived in Jakarta on Monday and was scheduled to leave Indonesia on Thursday. He is joined by Finnish European Affairs and Foreign Trade Minister Alexander Stubb and a Finnish business delegation in the visit. News Source: The Jakarta Post

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