SI -Indonesia discuss bilateral cooperation
Minister of Foreign Affairs and External Trade, Hon. Jeremiah Manele has discussed bilateral cooperation with his Indonesian counterpart, Retno Marsudi at the margins of the 1st High Level Meeting for the Archipelagic Island States (AIS) Blue Economy High Level Dialogue in Bali on 10th October 2023.
Minister Manele used this interaction with Indonesia’s Foreign Minister to acknowledge Indonesia’s support and assistance to Solomon Islands, in particular, support to the 2023 Pacific Games.
He further acknowledged Indonesia for providing support in areas such as education, agriculture, fisheries and others.
Minister Manele also sought Indonesia’s cooperation to finalize the Air Service Agreement (ASA) between both countries to support connectivity and trade.
He stressed that the Solomon Islands also looks forward to the finalization of outstanding Memorandum of Understandings between the two countries, especially an Education MoU and Police cooperation to counter transnational crimes.
The Minister also made a request to Indonesia for non-reciprocal trade arrangement offered to Least Developing Countries (LDC’s) for Solomon Islands to have non-reciprocal preferential access of exports to Indonesia.
A non-reciprocal trade arrangement came into existence during the 2005 WTO Hong Kong Ministerial Conference, where members from the developed countries, and developing-country members declare themselves when in a position to do so, agree to implement duty-free and quota-free (DFQF) market access for products originating from LDCs.
Minister Manele also mentioned the implementation of the reciprocal visa waiver agreement for Diplomatic and Officials passports with Indonesia. For Solomon Islands, it has already been implemented and hope Indonesia would done the same soon. The MoU on reciprocal visa waiver agreement for Diplomatic and Official passports for both countries was signed in September 2022.
Meanwhile for Solomon Islanders with ordinary passports they can travel to Indonesia visa free. The visa arrangements encourage people to people contact, boost tourism and inspire business between Indonesia and Solomon Islands.
In response, Indonesia’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Retno Marsudi acknowledges Solomon Islands friendship and bilateral relations with Indonesia and assures that they remain committed to work with Solomon Islands to enhance bilateral cooperation.
MFAET PRESS RELEASE