Jakarta (VNA) – Indonesia and Singapore have agreed to enhance economic cooperation, including in digital technology investment, to speed up economic recovery in the two countries which have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The two countries agreed to make remarkable efforts and initiate new policy breakthroughs to ensure that stringent health protocols can run in line with economic recovery, Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto said following a bilateral meeting virtually held with Singapore’s Trade and Industry Minister Chan Chun Sing on October 15.

Both countries highlighted the importance of previous agreements, such as the ratification of bilateral investment, travel corridor, provisions for the elimination of double taxation, and Indonesia's structural reform policy through the job creation law.

Hartarto said the agreement is aimed at improving the investment climate and Indonesia's competitiveness in the region.

The two countries also see the potential to increase investment, especially in the sector of digital economy, smart cities, financial technology, and digital technology-based start-ups.

Indonesia, he said, could learn from other countries that have made advanced progress in the sector, hence cooperation in digital economy and training in technology application are important.

The bilateral meeting also discussed achievements in bilateral economic cooperation in six working groups, namely Batam, Bintan Karimun working group (WG) and special economic zone; working groups on investment; transportation; tourism, labor, and agribusiness.

Singapore is Indonesia’s third largest trade partner, while Indonesia is the sixth largest trade partner of Singapore.

Singapore was a major source of foreign investment for Indonesia in 2014-2019, with total investment reaching 6.5 billion USD in 2019. In the tourism sector, 1.61 million tourists from Singapore visited Indonesia last year.

Amid the global economic slowdown and crisis due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Singapore's investment in Indonesia until the second quarter of 2020 has increased 36.19 percent to 4.67 billion USD compared to 3.43 billion USD in the same period last year./.