Fiji Ready to Particiapate in Melanesian Cultural Festival in Kupang in October

Fiji's Minister of Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kabuabola -
Fiji’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kabuabola –

Jayapura, Jubi – Fiji has confirmed its participation in the Melanesian Cultural Festival to be held from 26-30 October in Kupang.

First Meeting of Joint Ministerial Committee (JMC) at the level of Minister of Foreign Affairs has been held in Suva, Fiji (1/9/2015). The Indonesian Delegation was led by the Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno L.P. Marsudi while the Minister of Foreign Affairs Ratu Inoke Kabuabola. The meeting was the follow up action of Development Cooperation Agreement signed in 2011.

JCM is aimed to improve the bilateral partnership between two countries, in particular in economic. “For Indonesia, Fiji is one of important country, not only for the partnership in economic, but also in democracy and security and regional stability,” the Minister Retno L.P Marsudi stated in official site on Tuesday (1/9/2015).

Both countries agreed to keep improving the economic partnership by pushing the intensity of business to business partnership. In the context of trading, some products are potential to be improved, such as light-steel construction, farming and fishing equipment spare parts. “The Indonesian Government has paved way for Indonesian products in Fiji, including by the implementation of cooperation in capacity building on fishery and farming sectors. This is expected could be applied by private sector to develop the export to Fiji,” she said.

Indonesian trading with Fiji is one of the huge businesses in this Pasific Islands country (USD 25.27) with the surplus was on the Indonesian side. Indonesia’s export stands in Fiji are including bus chassis, food products, garment and paper.

Despite the economical issue, the meeting also discussed about several issues related to democracy, good governance, security and regional stability.The Minister of Foreign Affairs of Fiji on that occasion emphasized the commitment of Fiji to continue to support the regional integrity of the Republic of Indonesia.

Both ministers also discussed about the cooperation in peacekeeping. In this term, Indonesia expressed its readiness to provide training fro Fiji by using the facility of Indonesian peacekeeping at Sentul. The Delegation of Fiji also participated in the Asia-Pacific Regional Conference for Peacekeeping that was held in Jakarta in August 2015.

Both countries also agreed to develop the partnership in farming, fisheries, small and medium enterprise, youth and sport as well as woman empowerment.

Fiji is a country that uses a lot of scholarships offered by the Government of Indonesia, up to now there are 542 awardees. The cooperation in education and training is believed to contribute to closer relation between two countries.

Further, Indonesia and Fiji has had an agreement of visa exemption for diplomatic and official passport holders. Currently both countries are discussing about the possibility of visa exemption for shot visit for regular passport holders.

As part of JMC meeting agenda, the Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs and the Minister of Defense of Fiji will witness the signing of MoU on Cooperation in Combatting Trafficking in Narcotic Drugs on 2 September 2015. The MoU is aimed to improve the partnership between two countries in information exchange, capacity building, training and exchange visit of experts. The second minister level of bilateral meeting of both countries will be held in the second semester in 2016. (Dominggus Mampioper/rom)