Duterte, Widodo to discuss trade, terrorism in Bali meeting

Dharel Placido, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 10 2018 06:53 PM | Updated as of Oct 10 2018 07:07 PM

Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo. Reuters/File 

MANILA - President Rodrigo Duterte and Indonesian President Joko Widodo will discuss terrorism and trade during their meeting in Bali, Indonesia this week.

Duterte is expected to hold a bilateral meeting with Widodo at the sidelines of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and the World Bank (WB) in Bali.

“There are various issues of Indonesia and the Philippines. The trade issue is one of them, the terrorism, the wide Celebes Sea which has always been a problem. Although, we have done a lot of things to improve that,” Philippine Ambassador to Indonesia Leehiong Tan Wee told reporters in Bali. 

“I think those are the issues that are foremost in the mind of the two Presidents.”

Wee said the Philippines and Indonesia have been carrying out initiatives to battle terrorism.

“We have been talking with Indonesia in many forums to help us develop the peace and order in the Philippines, especially [the] southern part of the Philippines and also the border between the seas --- the Celebes Sea,” Wee said.

The sea is a body of water between southern Philippines and Indonesia's northern and western islands where Manila and Jakarta earlier launched joint patrols to avert the crossing of Islamist militants. 

On trade, Wee said the two countries have been working on reviving the Davao-Manado route.

“Probably within the year or early next year, there will be air routes that will come from Davao to Manado. And there’s a fast food company in the Philippines that will also open up in Jakarta,” Wee said.

“So there [is] a lot of other trade activities that are being done in the last four months that I’ve been here (in Indonesia).”

The President will join his fellow Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) leaders on the sidelines of the meetings on Oct. 11. The meeting will be attended by IMF Managing Director Christine Lagarde, WB President Jim Yong Kim, and UN Secretary General António Guterres.

Duterte is set to fly to Bali on Wednesday evening and return to Manila Thursday, Oct. 11 after the gathering.