Singapore Foreign Minister in Jakarta for 2-day visit

JAKARTA (The Straits Times/ANN) - Minister Vivian Balakrishnan had a conversation with former Indonesian president ​Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono about common regional and global challenges that the two countries face. 

Singapore's Foreign Minister Vivian Balakrishnan, who is in Jakarta for a two-day working visit, yesterday (Feb 13) called on former president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto.

Dr Balakrishnan wrote in a Facebook post that he had a wide-ranging conversation with Dr Yudhoyono on common regional and global challenges that Singapore and Indonesia face.

"We discussed the continued relevance of Singapore's Asean chairmanship priorities of 'innovation' and 'resilience', even as we collectively face the challenges posed by the digital revolution and changing geostrategic balance," he said.

He added that Dr Yudhoyono played an important role in charting Asean's journey and shaping its development, and that it was an honour to draw from his "wellspring of experience".

Dr Balakrishnan also said he enjoyed the exchange of views, including on political and economic developments, with Mr Airlangga, who is also chairman of Golkar, the second-largest political party in Indonesia.

"There is room to do much more, including by deepening cooperation in the Kendal Industrial Park and in the Batam, Bintan and Karimun region, and enhancing our business and investment environments for mutual benefit," he said.

"Looking forward to working together closely to take our economic cooperation in traditional and emerging areas to the next level."

Dr Balakrishnan also met Jakarta Governor Anies Baswedan yesterday, and he will be meeting his Indonesian counterpart, Ms Retno Marsudi, this morning (Feb 14) before returning to Singapore.

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