Fri, 01 Jul 2022

JAKARTA, May 23 (Xinhua) -- The ministers of foreign affairs of Indonesia and Serbia agreed here on Monday to boost bilateral cooperation between the two countries, including on trade and investment.

In a joint press conference with his Serbian counterpart Nikola Selakovic, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said that the two shared concerns about the impact of the conflict in Ukraine on food security and agreed to increase trade cooperation in agricultural commodities, including wheat to meet the needs of the food industry in Indonesia.

The two ministers also agreed to increase cooperation in Indonesia's palm oil trade to meet up to 30 percent of Serbia's needs.

"We agreed that there is much room to improve our two-way trade and investment relations. We also view the need to intensify business-to-business contacts, including through our Chambers of Commerce," said Marsudi.

The trade between the two countries reached 26.8 million U.S. dollars in 2021 despite the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the Indonesian Foreign Ministry.

In addition to trade, Marsudi and Selakovic discussed the progress on several issues that had been agreed upon by the two countries, including preventing and eradicating transnational crimes, and increasing diplomatic capacity.

On the same occasion, Selakovic said that Indonesia and Serbia have had a long history of bilateral relations.

"I would like to express our goodwill and our readiness to improve our cooperation in different fields, not only in agriculture but also in the field of culture, education, youth, sport as well as the defense area," said Selakovic.

Earlier in the day, the ministers signed the memorandum of understanding on political consultations between Indonesia and Serbia as a basis for the Indonesia-Serbia Bilateral Consultation Forum to discuss various issues of common interest.

On the same day, Selakovic also held a meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo and several Indonesian businessmen.

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