Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi met with Tongan Deputy Prime Minister Samiu Kuita Vaipulu on Tuesday to discuss cooperation in ecotourism, disaster mitigation, fisheries, and mitigation of climate change impacts.
During the meeting, held on the sidelines of the Fifth Ministerial Meeting of the Archipelagic and Island States (AIS) Forum in Nusa Dua, Bali, focused on exploring bilateral cooperation within the framework of the forum.
Both parties agreed to foster ecotourism cooperation, particularly in enhancing ecotourism infrastructure in Tonga, according to a statement released by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Within a bilateral framework, Vaipulu proposed cooperation to enhance risk management capacity and to mitigate natural disasters and climate change impacts, given Tonga’s vulnerability to natural disasters in the Pacific region.
He also urged Indonesia to become an investment partner, including in the fisheries sector.
Regarding regional cooperation, Marsudi expressed Indonesia’s support for Tonga as the next chair of the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF).
She also called for the implementation of cooperation between the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and the PIF, which was agreed upon in early September.
“One of the tangible collaborations that can be pursued is cooperation between small island countries,” Marsudi said.
At the conclusion of the meeting, both parties reaffirmed their commitment to upholding peace and stability in the region.
The AIS Forum aims to bolster collaboration between island and archipelagic countries in addressing four global problems: climate change mitigation and adaptation, blue economy, handling plastic waste at sea, and maritime governance.
Indonesia will host the 1st High-Level Meeting of the AIS Forum on 11 October 2023 in Nusa Dua.
The high-level meeting will be attended by representatives from 29 out of the total 51 AIS Forum member countries, as well as four international organisations.