Marcos arrives in Indonesia for first state visit

Katrina Domingo, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Sep 04 2022 01:56 PM | Updated as of Jan 21 2023 02:44 AM

JAKARTA - President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. on Sunday arrived in Indonesia for his first state since assuming power on June 30.

Aside from meeting his Indonesian counterpart, Marcos will also spend time with the business sector and the Filipino community in Southeast Asia’s largest economy and most populous country.

Marcos’ official delegation is composed of the following, according to the Department of Foreign Affairs:

  • Foreign Secretary Enrique Manalo
  • Finance Secretary Benjamin Diokno
  • Trade Secretary Alfredo Pascual
  • Budget Secretary Amenah Pangandaman
  • Socioeconomic Planning Secretary Arsenio Balisacan
  • Bangko Sentral Governor Felipe Medalla

Migrant Workers Secretary Susan Ople also joined the trip, along with First Lady Liza Marcos and their son Ilocos Norte 1st Dist. Rep. Sandro Marcos.

Marcos will kick off his visit with a meeting with the Filipino community in a hotel in the capital Jakarta.

Formal events will begin on Monday, Sept. 5, when Marcos will travel to the Kalibata National Heroes’ Memorial Park for a wreath-laying ceremony before he meets with Indonesian President Joko Widodo for the first time in Bogor Palace.

“We will reaffirm our ties with fellow archipelagic nation and ASEAN co-founder, Indonesia, with whom we share an extensive maritime border in the south of the Philippines,” Marcos said in his pre-departure speech in Manila.

“Beyond that, we will also be seeking the partnership and the help of our friends in Indonesia — from the President and our friends in Indonesia — for investment in the areas where we see that they can be of assistance especially in the critical areas as we have identified them: in agriculture and in energy,” he said.

The Philippines imports most of its coal from Indonesia, according to data from the Brunei Darussalam–Indonesia–Malaysia–Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area.

Other imports from Indonesia include motor vehicles, palm oil, paper and diesel. The Philippines, on the other hand, exports copper wires and other machine parts to Indonesia.

As of 2021, bilateral trade between the two countries is at $9.5 billion, with Indonesian exports amounting to $8.6 billion, and imports from the Philippines pegged at only $1.2 billion, Indonesian Ambassador to the Philippines Agus Widjojo earlier said.

“Indonesia is looking to increase the involvement of Indonesian state-owned companies in [Philippine] local projects in infrastructure, transportation and strategic industries,” the diplomat had said.

The DFA earlier said that the two Southeast Asian presidents will tackle “defense, maritime border, economic and people-to-people cooperation” during their bilateral meeting.

Marcos and Widodo are also expected to witness the signing of three key agreements:

  • a 5-year plan of action between Indonesia and the Philippines
  • renewal of the 1997 Agreement on Defense and Security Cooperative Activities (DSCA)
  • renewal of a Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Cooperation

Marcos will leave Indonesia on Tuesday, Sept. 6, and head to Singapore for another state visit through Wednesday.

New Philippine presidents traditionally choose to hold their first state visit in a country that is part of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

A state visit shows the highest level of hospitality and relations between two countries, as the host nation usually shoulders the expenses for the guest head of state and his official delegation composed of 8 to 10 people.

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