RI Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi paid a courtesy call to United States Vice President, Mike Pence in Washington DC (04/05).
The meeting was done to follow up the results of VP Pence’s visit to Jakarta on 20-21 April. During the visit, RI President, Joko Widodo and VP Pence agreed to explore the possibility of a mutually beneficial bilateral mechanism in the field of trade and investment.
“Indonesia is ready to expand and strengthen mutually beneficial cooperation with the US in various fields,” said the RI Foreign Minister at the meeting with VP Pence.
“Trade relations between Indonesia and the US are complementary, which means that the potential for expanding trade relations between the two countries is wide open,” said the Minister. For Indonesia, the US is one of the largest markets for Indonesian export products, which was valued at USD 15.68 billion (11.94% of market share) in 2016. At the same time, Indonesia with its population of 250 million and increasing number of middle-class is a major market for American products.
In addition, the Foreign Minister also discussed strategic cooperation efforts between Indonesia and the US in countering terrorism and radicalism through a soft power approach. With more than 223 million moderate, tolerant and democratic Muslims (87.18% of the total Indonesian population), Indonesia has the credentials to lead the global effort in countering radical ideologies. The global perception which associates terrorist acts with particular religions must be set straight because it does not resolve the issue while potentially creating a wider problem.
“Indonesia is a true example that terrorist acts are not related to particular religions. Islam in Indonesia delivers a message of peace and tolerance while reflecting an Islam that is a blessing for all,” said the Minister.