Indonesian Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan accompanied President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo to a bilateral meeting with United States President Joe Biden at the White House, Washington DC, on Monday, November 13, 2023.
Zulhas, as the minister is familiarly known, said the two leaders agreed to boost Indonesia-US trade through various platforms, including the Indonesia-US Trade and Investment Agreement Framework (TIFA) and the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework (IPEF).
“The meeting between the two heads of state provides us with a great opportunity to improve Indonesia-US trade relations, so we need to pursue this momentum as much as possible to deliver concrete results for the Indonesian people,” Zulhas said in his statement quoted on Wednesday, November 15, 2023.
The US is one of the most important partners and the second largest trading partner for Indonesia. In 2022, the trade value between the two countries reached US$39.8 billion, an increase of 7.44 percent compared to 2021.
Indonesia’s surplus trade balance with the US in 2022 was recorded at US$16.57 billion or an increase of 13.92 percent compared to 2021. Apart from this, the US is also the sixth largest contributor of foreign investment to Indonesia, with a total value of US$3.02 billion in 2022.
Zulhas said that during the meeting, the two leaders agreed to upgrade the partnership to a so-called Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP).
According to him, this comprehensive strategic partnership will promote closer cooperation in various areas, including the economy, supply chains, regional security, energy transition, and climate crisis, as well as culture and tourism.
“The two leaders emphasized the importance of Indonesia and the US expanding cooperation on all issues of mutual concern,” Zulhas remarked.
In addition, they pledged to develop an action plan on critical minerals to promote energy transition.
Zulhas also said that during the meeting, Jokowi hoped that the Indonesia-US partnership could contribute positively to peace and prosperity in the Indo-Pacific region and globally.