At the invitation of President Barack Obama of the United States of America, His Excellency Joko Widodo, President of the Republic of Indonesia, visited the United States in October 2015. On this occasion, President Barack Obama and President Joko Widodo held a meeting at the White House on October 26, 2015, and adopted this Joint Statement.
The two Presidents recognized that the ties between their two countries are stronger than ever, dynamic, and firmly based on shared principles of democracy and good governance, respect for human rights, and the promotion of peace, stability, and economic well-being. The U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership, a framework launched in 2010, has further broadened, deepened and elevated the bilateral relationship. The Comprehensive Partnership has demonstrated the global significance of enhanced cooperation between the world’s second and third largest democracies, the tremendous possibilities for economic and development cooperation, and the importance of fostering exchanges and mutual understanding between two of the world’s most diverse nations.
Strengthening a Long-Term Partnership
In order to meet evolving challenges and capitalize on emerging opportunities, the two Presidents recognized the need to enhance the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership and continue deepening the relationship based on mutual benefit and respect for each others’ sovereignty and territorial integrity. The United States and Indonesia, as two of the largest democratic countries in the world, share a responsibility and an abiding interest to address strategic challenges on the international stage, together as partners. In this spirit, the two Presidents committed to forge a Strategic Partnership between our countries, to expand cooperation on shared strategic interests. They further established an annual Ministerial Strategic Dialogue, led by the Secretary of State and the Foreign Minister and complemented by other minister-level exchanges, to discuss and collaborate on strategic efforts to advance international peace and prosperity as well as bilateral priorities. Recognizing the invaluable contributions of civil society and the private sector to the two democratic countries and their broader relationship, the two Presidents welcome civil society engagement and non-governmental tracks which will also be important to the vitality of their Strategic Partnership.
The two Presidents highlighted the importance of the maritime area to their respective countries, surrounding region, and the world. The two Presidents pledged to deepen their cooperation on maritime affairs, as described in the new “Memorandum of Understanding on Maritime Cooperation,” which extends to a full range of fields, including: maritime security, maritime economy, marine resources and fisheries conservation and management, maritime safety and navigation, marine science and technology and other areas of cooperation identified by both countries.
Both Presidents underlined the importance of improving maritime infrastructure to enhance connectivity and enable freer flow of commerce in the region and between the two countries. Therefore, they committed to continue working together to promote cooperation and investment in infrastructure.
The two Presidents also affirmed the urgent needs to combat, prevent, deter and eliminate illegal, unregulated, and unreported (IUU) fishing. They are committed to jointly identifying actions to strengthen bilateral cooperation and build capacity to combat IUU fishing.
The two Presidents affirmed their commitment to further strengthen their bilateral defense cooperation, and welcomed the growth in bilateral military engagements, which now stand at more than 200 activities annually. The Presidents welcomed the Joint Statement on Comprehensive Defense Cooperation of October 26, 2015, between the Indonesian Ministry of Defense and the U.S. Department of Defense. The two Presidents underscored their commitment to deepen collaboration on areas such as: maritime cooperation, peacekeeping, humanitarian assistance and disaster relief, defense joint research and development, countering transnational threats, and military professionalization. The two Presidents also affirmed their interest in exploring and consulting on new activities to advance cooperation in the areas of co-development and co-production of defense equipment, cooperative logistics, and maritime security. As peacekeeping cooperation has been and remains an area of bilateral cooperation, the two Presidents welcomed the outcome of the Leaders’ Summit on Peace Keeping on the margins of the 70th United Nations General Assembly. The United States welcomed Indonesia’s role in peacekeeping efforts and its intention to expand its troop contribution.
Economic Growth and Development
The two Presidents recognized the importance of a predictable, open, and transparent economic policy framework, one that encourages foreign investment and promotes fair competition and the protection of intellectual property rights, to facilitate greater two-way trade and investment and to promote private sector-led economic growth. They acknowledged that such a policy framework is important for the growth of the financial sector, as foreign investors and service providers can provide capital and expertise to help deepen Indonesia’s financial markets, as well as channel private sector resources to help develop Indonesia’s infrastructure. Both leaders discussed Indonesia’s recent reforms and affirmed that steps to enhance the ease of doing business in Indonesia would create the conditions for a further expansion in two-way trade and investment. The two Presidents welcomed the recent commercial agreements between U.S.-based firms and Indonesian partners, amounting to over $20 billion, as reflective of the deepening bilateral economic relationship.
Regular consultations under the U.S.-Indonesia Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA), signed in 1996, serve as a key platform for both countries to address bilateral trade and investment issues, develop concrete initiatives to further deepen economic ties, and to increase cooperation in regional and multilateral fora. Both leaders welcomed the outcomes of the recent TIFA meeting, especially the agreement on working together to leverage future rounds of Indonesia’s Economic Policy Package to advance deregulation. The United States and Indonesia remain committed to the ratification of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement and to the implementation of the 2011 APEC Leaders’ commitment to reduce applied tariffs on the agreed Environmental Goods List by the end of 2015.
Recognizing the opportunities and challenges presented by information and communications technology, both Presidents reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring that technology and innovation are critical components of overall bilateral engagement in the 21st century and in narrowing the digital divide. To this end, the Presidents committed to continue to develop cooperation in many areas of science, technology and innovation, including the development of the information and technology sector in Indonesia in alignment with Indonesia Digital Economy 2020 vision. The Presidents affirmed the need for states to protect the Internet as an essential platform for economic growth and development around the world. In support of that objective, both Presidents underscored the importance of further cooperation and discussions to ensure a safe and secure Internet, including efforts to promote trust, transparency, and stability among states regarding information and communication technologies.
The two Presidents also welcomed the recently launched bilateral Aviation Working Group aimed at assisting Indonesia improve the safety, security, and efficiency of its air transport network. Separately, the United States and Indonesia will continue consultations between the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and Indonesia’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) to support the DGCA’s full implementation of international safety standards set by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) with the aim of restoring Category I status at the earliest possible time.
Both countries note that their strong partnership to promote sustainable economic growth and reduce poverty through the $600 million Millennium Challenge Corporation compact, the largest compact in Asia, is advancing Indonesia’s efforts to promote renewable energy and greenhouse gas emissions reduction, deliver essential public services, and improve overall health and nutrition for women and children.
Recognizing their shared strategic interest in clean energy development and energy security, the United States and Indonesia affirmed their commitment to deepen energy-related cooperation as outlined under the new MoU Concerning Cooperation on Energy, which will support the establishment of Indonesia’s Clean Energy Center of Excellence in Bali and deepen cooperation in areas such as accelerating the deployment of remote and off-grid renewable energy systems, collaborating on carbon capture and storage, and strengthening national energy security by planning strategic petroleum reserves. The two Presidents welcomed the newly created U.S.-Indonesia Power Working Group, which is aimed at helping Indonesia achieve its ambitious power generation goals over the next five years in a clean and sustainable way.
Increasing Cooperation on Global and Regional Issues
Both Presidents welcomed the Indonesian Government’s maritime vision to become a global maritime fulcrum, as well as Indonesia’s leadership in regional and global fora, and the United States’ Rebalance policy to the Asia Pacific aimed at promoting peace, prosperity, stability and security in the Asia-Pacific Region.
Climate change remains a priority area of cooperation between the United States and Indonesia, and both countries committed to working closely together to implement strong domestic policies to limit greenhouse gas emissions and increase climate resilience. They also emphasized their commitment, at the Paris Climate Conference in December 2015, to conclude an ambitious and durable global climate agreement that reflects the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities, in light of different national circumstances, and that can help promote a global low-carbon transformation over the course of this century. Both Presidents affirmed their intention to phase out inefficient fossil fuel subsidies that encourage wasteful consumption while maintaining essential energy services for the poor. The Presidents reiterated their support for the statement on hydroflourocarbons (HFCs) from the 2013 G-20 Leaders Statement.
The two Presidents affirmed the importance of preservation of peat lands and other high-carbon landscapes. President Obama welcomed President Widodo’s recent policy actions to combat and prevent forest fires and associated health, environmental, and economic impacts, including President Widodo’s May 2015 decision to extend the moratorium on new development licenses in primary forests and peatlands, and President Widodo expressed appreciation for the U.S. offer to assist in this regard. Both Presidents are committed to sustainable forest management, including through private-sector initiatives.
The two sides reaffirmed their G-20 commitment to lift growth, boost economic resilience and strengthen global institutions in efforts to achieve strong, sustainable, and balanced growth, by undertaking policies to support demand and create jobs that underpin prosperity. They also committed to promoting sustainable development, and the two Presidents welcomed the adoption of the post 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and committed to supporting it.
The two Presidents pledged to continue and strengthen their efforts to address non-traditional security threats, including the scourge of terrorism and violent extremism, natural disasters, illegal trafficking of wildlife, illegal, unregulated, and unreported fishing and fisheries related crime, water security, and pandemics as well as cooperation and capacity building in cyber space.
President Obama acknowledged Indonesia’s success in counterterrorism law enforcement actions, which serves as a model of a civilian-led, rule-of-law counterterrorism approach. The two Presidents pledged to continue and strengthen their cooperation and strong efforts to counter terrorists and other extremist groups, including stemming the flow of foreign terrorist fighters, and counter-radicalization efforts to prevent virulent messages from taking hold in vulnerable populations. The United States and Indonesia welcomed the convention of the Leader’s Summit on Countering ISIL and Violent Extremism. The two Presidents endorsed the Council on Religion and Pluralism, an innovative bilateral mechanism, designed to promote pluralism, tolerance, and moderation. To prevent an act of nuclear terrorism, both Presidents welcomed the planned 2016 Nuclear Security Summit and will complete cooperative efforts to secure nuclear materials in advance of the Summit.
The two Presidents also acknowledged the need for expanding cooperation on health and to build capacity to prevent, detect and respond to global health challenges, including epidemic threats. Taking into account the expanding cooperation in this area, the two countries have committed to work on an umbrella agreement on health cooperation that will provide framework and future direction. The United States welcomed Indonesia’s continued leadership in the five-year initiative of the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA) aiming for mutually agreed upon targets, including as 2016 GHSA Steering Group Chair.
The United States and Indonesia are committed to enhancing cooperation in regional fora, such as the Asia–Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Regional Forum, and the East Asia Summit. Significantly, the two countries recognized the importance of a united and strong ASEAN, ASEAN’s central role in the regional political and security architecture, and the strength of the United States–ASEAN relationship. Both leaders also noted the importance of strengthening and developing a positive and constructive regional architecture by supporting the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), and welcomed Indonesia’s intentions to further strengthen the regional architecture of the Indian Ocean during its 2015-2017 IORA chairmanship.
The two Presidents expressed their shared concern about recent developments in the South China Sea that have increased tensions, eroded trust, and threatened to undermine peace, security, and the economic well-being of the region. Both countries believe it is vital for all parties to refrain from actions that raise tensions in the South China Sea. Both Presidents affirmed the importance of safeguarding maritime security and upholding internationally recognized freedoms of navigation and overflight in the South China Sea. Both countries support the peaceful resolution of disputes in conformity with international law, including as reflected in the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea of 10 December 1982 (UNCLOS), and recognize the importance of full and effective implementation of the Declaration on Conduct of Parties in the South China, as well as efforts to quickly conclude the Code of Conduct of Parties in the South China Sea.
People to People Contacts
The United States and Indonesia, as two diverse democracies, are committed to fostering a robust civil society, vibrant press, and opportunities for women and minorities. Their joint leadership in the Open Government Partnership reflects their solid commitment to promoting good governance and transparency for the benefit of their citizens, and to sharing their experiences with emerging democracies through triangular cooperation.
The two Presidents are also committed to broadening and deepening the breadth of people to people ties between the two nations, including through promoting educational exchanges and tourism. President Obama welcomed Indonesia’s policy to extend visa-free arrangements to U.S. citizens on short-term visits. The United States and Indonesia will consider ways to extend the validity of non-immigrant visas issued to Indonesians traveling to the United States for tourism and business as well as the validity of student and exchange visitor visas issued to U.S. citizens traveling to Indonesia.
The United States and Indonesia are committed to advancing bilateral cooperation in scientific research and higher education partnership through expanding opportunities for scientist-to-scientist collaborations in priority areas outlined by the Science & Technology Agreement including marine protection, agricultural technology, health and renewable energy. As a centerpiece of supporting this cooperation, the establishment of the Indonesian Science Fund represents a milestone in Indonesia’s scientific development and the creation of new opportunities for connecting Indonesian research to the global scientific community.
Agreements and Arrangements Reached
The two Presidents welcomed the conclusion of the following agreements/arrangements:
- Memorandum of Understanding on Maritime Cooperation between the Government of The Republic of Indonesia and the Government of the United States of America
- Joint Statement on Comprehensive Defense Cooperation
- Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Government of the United States of America Concerning Cooperation on Energy
- Memorandum of Understanding Between the Federal Aviation Administration Department of Transportation of the United States of America and the Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA) of the Ministry of Transportation of the Republic of Indonesia on the Promotion of Sustainable Aviation Alternative Fuels and Renewable Energy