Fostering Strategic Partnerships for Sustainable Growth and Regional Stability


In a landmark meeting between Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian President Joko Widodo on April 29, 2024, in Bogor, Indonesia, both nations celebrated significant achievements in their bilateral relations. This encounter marked Prime Minister Lee's seventh and final Leaders' Retreat with President Joko Widodo, underscoring the culmination of years of robust cooperation.

The Leaders’ Retreat, an annual event since 2016, with exceptions in 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, symbolizes the deep commitment of both nations to fostering substantive cooperation. Throughout the years, it has served as a platform for addressing complex issues and strengthening ties.

At the heart of the discussions were the recent agreements under the Expanded Framework, which came into force on March 21, 2024. These agreements, including the Realignment of the Boundary between the Jakarta Flight Information Region and the Singapore FIR, the Treaty for the Extradition of Fugitives, and the Defence Cooperation Agreement, mark historic milestones in resolving longstanding issues between the two nations. The successful conclusion of these agreements underscores the pragmatic and mutually beneficial approach adopted by both countries.

Economically, the relationship between Singapore and Indonesia continues to flourish, with investments surpassing S$74 billion. The extension of the Bilateral Financing Agreement further solidifies financial cooperation amid global economic uncertainties. Additionally, the signing of the Joint Update on Defence Cooperation signals enhanced collaboration in defense between the two nations.

Looking ahead, both leaders emphasized the importance of exploring new growth areas, particularly in the green economy and the digital sector. The signing of various memoranda of understanding (MOUs), including on Community Empowerment in Mangrove Ecosystems and Cooperation on Digital Transformation, highlights the commitment to harnessing innovation and sustainability.

Furthermore, the launch of the Tech:X programme reflects a forward-looking approach to manpower development, aiming to empower young tech professionals from both countries through cross-border exchanges.

Addressing regional and global challenges, both leaders reiterated their commitment to working together within ASEAN and other international organizations like the UN.

As Prime Minister Lee bid farewell to President Joko Widodo and concluded his last overseas visit, he expressed gratitude for Indonesia's contributions to the bilateral relationship. Affirming Singapore's unwavering support for Indonesia's growth and prosperity, both leaders expressed confidence in the continuity of strong bilateral cooperation in the future.

In summary, the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders' Retreat not only commemorated past achievements but also set the stage for a future marked by continued collaboration and mutual prosperity.

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