Indonesia and Switzerland will begin negotiations on a Mutual Legal Assistance (MLA) agreement in April, with the goal of signing it later this year, said Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi after meeting with Swiss Foreign Minister Didier Burkhalter in Jakarta on March 16.

According to Foreign Minister Marsudi, the MLA will facilitate a stronger legal framework enabling the freezing of Indonesian assets acquired through illegal means and investments stored in Switzerland.

With the agreement, the two nations will demonstrate their firm commitment to fighting international cross-border crimes, she noted.

On his part, Didier Burkhalter said the agreement will allow the two countries to support each other in law enforcement.

Switzerland has named Indonesia as one of seven priority countries for economic development cooperation. Switzerland is supporting Indonesia’s effort to undertake public sector, economic and environmental reforms.

Indonesia is considered the fourth most important destination for direct Swiss investments in Asia, after Japan, Singapore and China.

The two sides also cooperate in education, tourism, research & innovation, and human right issues.-VNA