Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo has met with his New Zealand counterpart Christopher Luxon in Melbourne, Tuesday in order to strengthen bilateral relations between Indonesia and New Zealand.

In this meeting, both leaders discussed various strategic issues and cooperation between the two countries in various fields.

President Jokowi congratulated PM Luxon on his appointment and emphasised the importance of the strategic partnership between the two countries, especially in the economic and development fields. The President expressed his hope that under PM Luxon’s leadership, Indonesia-New Zealand cooperation can be improved continuously.

“New Zealand is Indonesia’s strategic partner. I hope that under his leadership we can continue to advance the concrete implementation of our comprehensive partnerships, especially in the economic and development fields,” said the President.

One of the focuses of the discussion was the decline in trade value between the two countries which reached 18 percent last year.

President Jokowi emphasised the need to create new opportunities to increase interaction between business and trade actors, including those in the halal sector.

He also welcomed PM Luxon’s and his trade mission’s planned visit to Jakarta this year.

“I am sure this will encourage increase in trade and economic cooperation between the two countries,” he said.

In the energy sector, President Jokowi appreciated the close cooperation in geothermal energy between the two countries. This includes a funding commitment of NZ$5.6 million in the Indonesia-Aotearoa New Zealand Geothermal Energy Programme (PINZ).

“I hope that investment can be increased continuously, especially to support the acceleration of geothermal energy development and energy transition efforts in Indonesia,” he continued.

The meeting also dealt with cooperation between the two countries in the Pacific region.

President Jokowi appreciated New Zealand’s support for the implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific and hoped for New Zealand’s support in the Pacific Islands Forum.

“I also want to encourage trilateral cooperation with New Zealand and one of the other Pacific countries in the field of development partnerships aligned with Indonesia’s Pacific Elevation vision,” he said.

In his closing remarks, President Jokowi invited PM Luxon to attend the 10th World Water Forum in the resort island of Bali which will discuss issues related to water and sanitation amidst the increasing impact of global climate change.

“Your presence is important to encourage real action amidst the impacts of global climate change that we increasingly feel,” he stressed.