India and Indonesia on Monday signed crucial agreements in the fields of renewable energy and culture and discussed possibilities of expanding cooperation in counter-terrorism and defence. The agreements were signed at the meeting between Vice President Hamid Ansari and his Indonesian counterpart Jusuf Kalla. VP Ansari is also scheduled to meet Indonesian President Joko Widodo during this visit.
The Vice President also stressed upon the need to diversify and increase bilateral trade as well to encourage investments in private sector between the two nations.
“For this we will be working to provide a robust and contemporary legal framework,” VP Hamid Ansari told the press in Jakarta.
Talking about his discussions with Mr. Kalla, the Vice President added “We have also discussed possibilities of expanding our cooperation in defence and counter-terrorism through intensification of our existing mechanisms.”
Vice President Hamid Ansari, who is in Indonesia on the invitation of Jusuf Kalla, said that the two countries share similar positions on several global and regional issues including climate change, maritime security and freedom of seas in the South China Sea. Giving details of one of the pacts signed, VP Ansari said that India and Indonesia signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) for cooperation in new and renewable energy sector.
“This cooperation is important as both India and Indonesia have committed themselves to reduce carbon emissions by 35 per cent and 29 per cent respectively by 2030,” the Vice President said.
Thanking Indonesia for supporting India in organising ‘Sahabat India – The Festival of India in Indonesia’ earlier this year, he said that a MoU for cooperation in cultural field was also signed.
Pledging to increase engagement with ASEAN member states as part of our Act East policy, the Vice President also emphasised that Indonesia is the largest ASEAN member and it looks forward to its continued support.
Besides, the Vice President expressed that India is confident that under the leadership of President Joko Widodo and Vice President Kalla, Indonesia will continue to make all-round progress and bilateral relationship between the two countries will be strengthened.
Vice President Hamid Ansari embarked on a five-day visit to Indonesia and Brunei on November 1 to further boost India’s ties with the two countries.
During his Indonesia visit, the Vice President is also expected to visit the historical Istiqlal mosque in Jakarta and inaugurate a bust of Mahatama Gandhi at Uddiyana University in Bali on November 3 and also address students there.
From Indonesia, VP Ansari will visit Brunei from November 4-6, which would be the first ever Vice Presidential visit to that country.
(With inputs from the PTI)