JAKARTADAILY.ID – Indonesian President Joko Widodo hosted Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim at Bogor presidential palace in Bogor, West Java, on Monday, January 9, 2023.
The two Southeast Asian leaders discussed the rivalry between the United States and China, two superpower nations, among other bilateral and regional issues. Special topics regarding Indonesia's New Capital City also received attention during the meeting.
This was the Malaysian premier’s first overseas trip since he was inaugurated last November.
"I am a little bit sentimental and Mr. President knows that Indonesia has a special place in my heart. I learned a lot and received many experiences (in Indonesia)," Anwar said, as quoted from Indonesia's Cabinet secretary's official website.
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The Malaysian Foreign Ministry posted a statement on Twitter saying that during the meeting both leaders also took stock of the progress of bilateral cooperation and explored potential new cooperation and promote joint efforts in addressing regional and global challenges.
"Both Leaders also exchanged views on the situation in Myanmar, the rivalry between the United States and China, and joint efforts in addressing discrimination against palm oil," the statement said.
Anwar, on his official Instagram account @anwaribrahim_my, said that there were nine memoranda of understanding signed between Malaysia and Indonesia, which projects include in the fields of electronics, health, waste management, construction, and property.
"Via this cooperation, Malaysia is officially stating (its) interest to participate in the development of a new capital city for Indonesia," he said on his Instagram account.
Malaysia and Indonesia as founding members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) are currently seeing a growing influence of China's economic expansion. Additionally, the United States is also intensifying both its diplomacy and military relations to counter China’s expanding economic and military influence in the bloc.
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During the meeting, Anwar expressed full support for Jokowi in Indonesia’s chairmanship of ASEAN which it assumed this month.
Indonesia and Malaysia also share a lot of economic interests, as both supplies around 85 percent of the world's total palm oil production. The two nations have sought to strengthen cooperation in increasing the palm oil market through the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries.
During his two-day trip to neighboring and world’s largest Muslim-populated nation, Anwar also spent some time delivering a public lecture on “Malaysia-Indonesia Strategic Relations: Challenges and Hopes”, which discussed challenges and opportunities in cooperation between the two nations.
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