Singapore (VNA) – Singapore and Indonesia have committed to continue work to improve connectivity between the two nations, as travel restrictions ease and economic activities on both sides resume.

The commitment was made by Singapore Minister for Trade and Industry Gan Kim Yong and Indonesia’s Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Airlangga Hartarto at the 12th Singapore-Indonesia Six Bilateral Economic Working Groups Ministerial Meeting on August 31, The Straits Times reported.

The meeting is an annual affair to discuss economic initiatives between the countries in six areas namely Batam, Bintan, Karimun and other special economic zones, investment, manpower, transport, agri-business as well as tourism.

According to Singapore’s Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI), at the meeting, both ministers reaffirmed their commitment to strengthen bilateral economic ties to capture growth opportunities amidst the easing of COVID-19 restrictions and resumption of economic activities on both sides.

They said that key outcomes, including the completion of the Singapore-BBK Logistics Ecosystem Joint Study by the Singapore Economic Development Board and the Indonesia Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs, will help improve logistics connectivity between Singapore and the BBK region.

Other outcomes of the meeting were the waiver of business visa requirements for Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) citizens conducting short business trips to BBK and facilitating collaboration between Enterprise Singapore and the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board in the healthcare, digital economy and sustainable infrastructure sectors. 

The ministers also agreed on expanding the cooperation of agri-business as well as signed an agreement for an exchange programme to develop tech talent between the two countries.

Singapore and Indonesia share close trade and investment ties. Last year, Indonesia was the Republic's largest trading partner, with bilateral trade amounting to 59.1 billion USD. Singapore has also been Indonesia's top source of foreign direct investments since 2014, and its investments in Indonesia amounted to 9.4 billion USD last year, said MTI./.