Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi (Photo: EPA/VNA)

Hanoi (VNA) – Indonesia’s Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi met with her French counterpart Jean-Marc Ayrault in Jakarta on February 28 to discuss ways to strengthen bilateral cooperation.

They confirmed that the two countries will expand economic, trade and investment partnerships. They agreed on the need to accelerate the negotiation on a comprehensive economic partnership agreement between Indonesia and the EU.

The foreign ministers also looked into the possibility of boosting ties in counter-terrorism, navigation, palm oil, tourism, and smart city building efforts.

At the meeting, officials of the two countries signed two memoranda of understanding on education, diplomatic training and space activities.

The visit to Indonesia by Foreign Minister Ayrault is also intended to prepare for an official trip to this country by French President Francois Hollande next month.

France is currently an important European trading partner of Indonesia with bilateral trade at 2.34 billion USD in 2016. The Southeast Asian nation’s exports to France include electric devices, rubber, footwear, aquatic products, apparel, coffee, tea, wood, and cocoa.

From 2010 to 2015, France’s investment in Indonesia reached 730.08 million USD with a number of projects in telecommunications, transport, water, electricity, food processing, chemicals, and pharmaceuticals.-VNA