Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison (Photo: ajp.com.au)

Jakarta (VNA) - Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison has stressed that he will maintain his country`s close ties with Indonesia, just as his predecessor, Malcolm Turnbull, did.

The Australian leader made the affirmation in a joint statement issued by him and Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Bogor on August 31, according to ANTARA news agency.

"We have had excellent relations, including people-to-people contact. Both countries want to encourage the states and people to have closer relations," he said.

Morrison said Indonesia is Australia’s important partner in the region and the world.

The two sides have also taken a big step in economic relations today by realising the existing economic opportunities, he said, adding that the Indonesian economy is important for not only Australia but also the region and the world.

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Prime Minister Morrison also witnessed the signing of a joint declaration on the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership (IA-CEPA) by Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukito and Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham.

On the occasion, Birmingham also signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with Indonesian Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi and Chief of the Indonesian Creative Economic Board Triawan Munaf.

"We want to work together to promote the economies of the two countries. It is an honour for me to stand here in the first week of my term of office to show how close the relations between Australia and Indonesia are," Morrison said.

Indonesia is the first country visited by Morrison since he assumed the post of Australian prime minister on August 24.

He was formerly finance minister during the Turnbull government and minister of immigration and border security during the Tony Abbott government.-VNA