Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said on Wednesday (14/02) that Indonesia-Singapore relations have made significant progress after a meeting with her Singaporean counterpart, Vivian Balakrishnan, in Jakarta.
“We have well-measured bilateral cooperation, and from what we can see we realize there’s been significant progress in our relations,” Retno said.
The countries are in the midst of ongoing negotiations for a bilateral investment treaty and a double taxation agreement. On the former, officials are scheduled to conduct a scoping exercise in Yogyakarta near the end of February.
Retno and Balakrishnan also discussed tourism cooperation during their meeting.
“We are currently developing cooperation between Pelindo 3 [state-owned port operator] and a Singaporean company for the port in Banyuwangi,” Retno said.
On cruise tourism, Indonesia and Singapore also share a route between Singapore and Bali with the Genting Dream cruise ship line, which began operations last December.
The neighboring countries are also cooperating on a “digital bridge” project, which seeks to improve connectivity and facilitate more interaction between the two countries’ businesses and people, particularly in digital economy. The project is set for a launch in mid-March, Retno said.
In addition, Indonesian Ambassador to Singapore Ngurah Swajaya said that both governments are working to establish a direct flight between Singapore and Belitung.
The agreements are part of Indonesia’s efforts to promote its “10 New Balis” priority destinations. Last October, Garuda Indonesia began offering flights between Silangit Airport in North Sumatra and Singapore, hoping to attract more visitors to Lake Toba.