Joint Press Statement by President Ferdinand Romualdez Marcos Jr., Republic of the Philippines and President Joko Widodo, Republic of Indonesia

Speeches 5 September 2022

PRESIDENT WIDODO: [start of recording] It is indeed an honor for Indonesia to receive the first overseas visit of President Marcos and delegation. And we have just concluded our discussion on strengthening bilateral cooperation in various sectors and regional cooperation in the framework of ASEAN.

On bilateral cooperation, I conveyed a few points. First, we encouraged a significant increase in our trade folio. Compared to last year, trade between Indonesia and Philippines increased by almost 50 percent. Indonesia, in particular, encouraged increase of export of food and beverages, pharmaceuticals, coconut, and seaweed products.

I invite the Philippines to continue developing trade potentials as well as connectivity in border areas. I proposed the revitalization of shipping routes – Ro-Ro shipping routes between Bitung and Davao and reopening of Manado-Davao flight route.

Second, on intensifying cooperation in infrastructure and strategic industries, a number of Indonesian SOEs have participated in development programs in the Philippines.

For instance, the procurement project of two-landing platform dock vessels by PT PAL and railway signaling project in Manila by PT LEN.I hope that the planned purchase of NC212i aircrafts from PT. Dirgantara can be realized.

Going forward, I hope that more opportunities arise for Indonesian SOEs and private sector to support development in the Philippines.

Third, on strengthening border cooperation, we agreed to review two border security agreements so that it remains relevant for communities in border areas and the revised Border Crossing Agreement and Border Patrol Agreement.

We also commit to accelerate negotiations on the delimitation of continental shelf based on UNCLOS 1982.

Fourth, in the field of defense and security, we encouraged strengthening cooperation and safety and security of waters in border areas. I highly appreciate the signing of the Agreement on Cooperative Activities in the Field of Defense and Security.

I’m glad that we have renewed the Trilateral Cooperative Arrangement or TCA between Indonesia, the Philippines, and Malaysia, which is very important to secure our waters from threats of hostage-taking and kidnapping.

Fifth, on regional cooperation, we also discussed how to strengthen ASEAN and the implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific.

I underlined the importance of strengthening ASEAN centrality and unity.

Indonesia wishes to ensure that ASEAN remains an engine of peace, stability, peace and prosperity in the region. ASEAN must be able to address the challenges ahead and strengthen respect for the ASEAN Charter.

And to booster ASEAN Centrality, I underlined the importance of implementation of the ASEAN Outlook on the Indo-Pacific through concrete and inclusive cooperation.

In this context, Indonesia will organize the Indo-Pacific infrastructure for next year. I also appreciate the commitment of Philippines to extend its full support in Indonesia’s chairmanship in ASEAN in 2023.

And now I respectfully invite President Marcos to deliver his press statement. Thank you. The floor is yours.

PRESIDENT MARCOS: Thank you very much, President Widodo and Madam First Lady and members of the Ministers who are here today.

As is proper for the times that we face today, our discussions have begun as a recognition of the long relationship that the Philippines and Indonesia have had. So long that in two years’ time we are celebrating the 75th year of our diplomatic relations. Although our relations go much further than that because we consider Indonesians not only a neighbor, not only a friend, but kin.

And for that — and on that basis, we spoke about the difficulties that we as members of ASEAN face after the pandemic. And this is why trade is such an important part of what we spoke and what we have agreed upon in today’s discussions.

We continue to thank Indonesia for the assistance and their involvement in the infrastructure programs of my predecessor, President Duterte, and their continuing commitment not only to go on and with these programs but to increase the volume and the closeness between our two countries.

We also spoke at length about the role that we believe ASEAN should play while we face the difficulties in this very volatile time in geopolitics not only in our region but also in the rest of the world.

And we agreed that ASEAN is going to be the lead agent in the changes that we would like to see in continuing to bring peace to our countries. And again the assistance that we have received from Indonesia have been a very important part of that.

We continue to work on growing our relationship to making it stronger. So much so that in actual fact our discussions progressed so rapidly that we, the President and I, have agreed to organize task forces already to meet and discuss even at a technical level, no longer at the political or the diplomatic level, but at a technical level, so as to be able to take a full advantage of the opportunities that we feel that are available to us, and that we will need to exploit to succeed in the near future.

I express my belief to President Widodo that this partnership between Indonesia and the Philippines — but these partnerships that we make with all our partners and allies and friends around the world will be of critical importance so that we remain stable as we grow out of the pandemic economy. And we work together and help each other to develop regional peace and regional development.

And for that, I thank once again the President for his very kind invitation. I believe that we have made the proper choice in coming to Jakarta as my first State Visit as President of the Philippines, and I believe that this is only the beginning of many more things to come between Indonesia and the Philippines.

Once again, I thank the President, Madam First Lady, I also thank the Indonesian people for their openness and their warmth as they welcome us since we have arrived here.

Thank you very much. [applause]

— END —

SOURCE: OPS-PND (Presidential News Desk)