Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi (R) and her Angolan counterpart, Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti (Photo: jakartaglobe/Sheany)

Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi and her visiting Angolan counterpart Georges Rebelo Pinto Chikoti agreed to step up relations between the two countries in various fields with emphasis on trade and commerce.

The two foreign ministers met in Jakarta on April 11 during Minister Chikoti’s visit from April 10-12, Indonesia news agency, Antara News, reported on the same day.

Minister Marsudi underlined that although the trade volume between the two countries had increased in 2011-2015, it had declined to 192.8 million USD last year due to the fall in global oil prices.

Hence, the two countries could outline the efforts needed to improve trade cooperation.

Indonesia proposed the establishment of a preferential trade agreement that received a positive response from the Angolan finance minister.

Indonesia has been shipping to Angola crude palm oil, motor vehicles, cosmetics, paper and footwear.

The island country is ready to renew several cooperation agreements in the energy sector. Angola is a potential market for products of Indonesia’s strategic industry that are offered by the state-owned weapons manufacturer PT Pindad, state-owned shipyard PT Pal, states aerospace company PT DI, and Railway Company PT Inka.

During the bilateral meeting, the two sides signed three memoranda of understanding (MoU) on cooperation in visa exemption for the holders of diplomatic or service passports, in the economic, scientific, technical and cultural areas, and on political consultation between the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of External Relations of Angola.

Indonesia also lauded the Angolan government’s plan to open an embassy in Jakarta and its support to Indonesia’s candidacy for a UN Security Council seat in the 2019-2020 period.-VNA