Jayapura, Jubi – 14 Point of PNG-Indonesia Joint Press Statement on the Outcome of the Meeting Between the Foreign Affairs Ministers of Papua New Guinea and Indonesia
Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea,27th February 2015
1. The Foreign Minister of the Republic of Indonesia, H. E. Retno L. P. Marsudi, and the Foreign Minister of the Papua New Guinea, Hon. Rimbink Pato, had their first official bilateral meeting in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea on 27 February 2015.
2. This was Minister Retno Masurdi’s first visit to Papua New Guinea and among her first official bilateral visit since assuming office in October 2014. This reflects the importance and close bilateral relationship between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia, as well as Indonesia’s firm commitment to strengthen cooperation, relations and contribution to the development in the Pacific.
3. The two Ministers recognized the strategic importance of the special relationship between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia given the two Countries geographical location and Melanesian cultural background and heritage. They stressed the bilateral relationship between the two countries is based on mutual benefit and mutual respect on territorial integrity.
4. The meeting discussed ways and means to further strengthen cooperation between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia within the framework of the Comprehensive Partnership established in 2013. In this context, the Ministers also agreed to intensify efforts to realize the objectives set out in the 2013 Plan of Action for the Implementation of Comprehensive Partnership, particularly in the areas of economic cooperation, advancing connectivity and people-to-people contact, enhancing border management as well as strengthening cooperation in the areas of capacity building and technical assistance.
5. The two Ministers emphasized on the need to intensify efforts to increase trade, including in border market. While trade from 2009 – 2013 have grown at a rate of 18,73%, the Ministers underlined that there are still ample opportunities to be gain. To this end they will intensify efforts to encourage the private sector to undertake greater cross border trade and investment.
6. In the area of people-to-people contact, the two Ministers agreed to enhance cooperation in youth and sports, education, cultural linkages and among communities in border area. They also discussed efforts to increase cross border tourism and business through greater connectivity by among others enhancing air transport link, road infrastructure in the border area as well visa on arrival.
7. The two Ministers welcomed the planned official launching this year of the Indonesia-Papua New Guinea border plaque and the Border Development Agency/ BDA Ofﬁce in the Skouw-Wutung border.
8. As part of the realization of Indonesia’s commitment to the US$ 20 million capacity building program for MSGs countries, both Ministers agreed that a technical team will meet this year to further discussed areas in which capacity building program can be directed so as to best contribute to the development of Papua New Guinea. The Foreign Minister of Indonesia also presented a scallop-shell processing machine and a module for the training of SMEs in making seashell-based jewelry to be conducted later this year in Papua New Guinea.
9. On regional issues, Minister Retno Marsudi reaffirm Indonesia’s commitment to support Papua New Guinea’s chairmanship in APEC in 2018, as endorsed by APEC Leaders’ Declaration in Beijing last year.
10. The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Papua New Guinea agreed that as part of Indonesia’s greater engagement in Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG), they will intensify communication on issues relating to the MSG. The two Ministers will promote regular consultation, contacts and exchange of visits among Indonesia and MSG Members. The Minister of Foreign Affair of Papua New Guinea also extended an invitation for the Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia to attend the Pacific Islands Forum in 7-11 September 2015 in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea.
11. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia also paid a courtesy call to the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea, Hon. Peter O’ Neill. The Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea and the Foreign Minister of Indonesia both agreed that over the past few decades, the bilateral relations of both countries have advanced to a sound degree of depth and maturity and that both Governments could now confidently enter into open and frank discussions on any issue, including those that are sensitive to both countries, without adversely impacting on that wholesome relationship of two very close neighboring countries.
12. Both Leaders underscored the importance for both governments to open communication and reaching common understanding on developments of all bilateral issues in both countries. In this context the Prime Minister welcomed the proposal by Minister Retno Marsudi to intensify open communication between Papua New Guinea and Indonesia as two close neighbors through the establishment of a hotline between the two foreign Ministers.
13. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of Indonesia conveyed to the Prime Minister of Papua New Guinea an invitation from the President of The Republic of Indonesia to attend the 60th Commemoration of Asian-African Conference and the 10th Anniversary of the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership in Jakarta and Bandung on 19-24 April 2015.
14. The Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia expressed her gratitude for the warm welcome and generous hospitality extended to her and the delegation of Indonesia during their visit to Port Moresby.