India – Indonesia Relations: Latest

IAS Prelims 2023

The President of Republic of Indonesia H. E. Mr. Joko Widodo paid a State visit to India from 11 to 13 December 2016.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joko Widodo held extensive talks on bilateral, regional and global issues of mutual interest.

The Leaders noted that the relationship had acquired a new momentum following the establishment of a Strategic Partnership in November 2005.

It received a further boost with the adoption of a Joint Statement for defining the ‘Vision for the India-Indonesia New Strategic Partnership over the coming decade’ during the visit of the President of Indonesia to India in January 2011 and adoption of a 5-pronged initiative for strengthening the Strategic Partnership in October 2013 during the visit of the Prime Minister of India.

Strategic Engagement

The President of Indonesia and the Prime Minister of India agreed to hold annual Summit meetings, including on the margins of multilateral events.

They stressed the importance of continuing regular bilateral consultations through the robust architecture of dialogue in place, including the Ministerial and Working Group Mechanisms.

The Leaders welcomed the successful launch of the satellites LAPAN A2 in September 2015 and LAPAN A3 in June 2016 by ISRO.

Defence and Security Cooperation

The two leaders directed the Ministers for early convening of the Defence Ministers’ Dialogue and the Joint Defence Cooperation Committee (JDCC) Meetings to review and upgrade the existing “Agreement on Cooperative Activities in the Fields of Defence” to a substantive bilateral Defence Cooperation Agreement.

Both sides agreed to increase the frequency of defence exchanges, training and joint exercises, including among Special Forces.

They also tasked the two Defence Ministers to explore collaboration between defence industries for joint production of equipment with technology transfer, technical assistance, and capacity building cooperation.

Comprehensive Economic Partnership

Both Leaders agreed to cooperate in promotion of energy efficiency technologies, new and renewable energy technologies, with the shared aspiration to ensure energy security as well as meet respective climate change targets.

In order to meet energy mix demand in the future, both Leaders encouraged renewal of the MoU on Cooperation in the Field of Oil and Gas and the working of its Joint Working Group, to expand wider scope of cooperation at the earliest convenience.

Prime Minister Modi expressed India’s readiness to supply rice, sugar and soya bean to meet Indonesia’s requirements.

The Leaders also stressed that bilateral cooperation on standards is important to facilitate trade between the two countries. In this regard, they welcomed the signing of the MoU between the Indonesian National Standardization Agency (BSN) and Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) on Standardization Cooperation.

Cultural and People-to-People Links

Both sides agreed to enhance cooperation on youth affairs and sports and in this regard welcomed the signing of an MOU on Cooperation in Youth Affairs and Sports.

Cooperation in Responding to Common Challenges

The two Leaders reiterated their commitment to respecting freedom of navigation and over flight, and unimpeded lawful commerce, based on the principles of international law, as reflected notably in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS).

In this context, they urged all parties to resolve disputes through peaceful means without resorting to threat or use of force and exercise self-restraint in the conduct of activities, and avoid unilateral actions that raise tensions.

Both sides reiterated the importance of advancing negotiations for swift conclusion of Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership negotiations.

Realizing that the international community faced common challenges of increasing the momentum of global economic recovery and climate change, both sides agreed that as key members of the international community, India and Indonesia must work together effectively in multilateral fora.

Both sides agreed to continue close coordination in the ASEAN-related mechanisms such as the East Asia Summit (EAS), ASEAN Regional Forum (ARF) and ASEAN Defence Ministers’ Meeting Plus (ADMM+).

The two Leaders agreed to follow up on the discussions that they have had, and to carry forward the bilateral relations with meetings of the following mechanisms within the first half of 2017:

i) The Ministerial level Joint Commission
ii) The Defence Ministers’ Dialogue and the Joint Defence Cooperation Committee (JDCC)
iii) Biennial Trade Ministers’ Forum (BTMF)
iv) Convening of the meeting of the Energy Forum to develop a road map for energy cooperation
v) Establishment of a security dialogue in order to develop a comprehensive action plan on security cooperation.

List of Agreements/MOUs exchanged during the State visit of President of Indonesia

1 MoU on Youth and Sports Cooperation between the Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports of India and the Ministry of Youth and Sports of Indonesia.

2 MoU on Standardization Cooperation between the Bureau of Indian Standards of India and the National Standardization Agency of Indonesia.

3 Joint Communiqué on the Voluntary International Cooperation to Combat Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) Fishing and to promote Sustainable Fisheries Governance between India and Indonesia.