Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) attended a closed-door meeting with U.S. President Joe Biden at the White House on Monday (Nov. 13), following an invitation he received from U.S. Vice President Kamala Harris in September. During the meeting, the two leaders discussed several issues, including the potential partnership between Indonesia and the EU. S. and conflict resolution in Gaza.
Addressing the Outcome of the Extraordinary OIC Summit: Ending Violence in Gaza
Jokowi said he hoped the partnership between Indonesia and the United States could make a positive contribution to regional and global peace and prosperity. Therefore, during their meeting, Jokowi conveyed an invitation to Joe Biden to jointly take steps to stop the ongoing conflict and atrocities in Gaza.
In an official statement on Tuesday (Nov 14), Jokowi said that the situation was very painful for humanity and stressed that a ceasefire was a must for the sake of humanity.
Prior to the meeting with Biden, Jokowi had previously expressed his intention to convey a message to Biden stemming from the joint summit of Arab and Muslim leaders in Riyadh last weekend (Nov. 11), which condemned Israel's actions and called for a ceasefire. Jokowi also mentioned that he would convey a special message from Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas, who asked Jokowi to pass it on to Biden.
Enhancing the Level of Partnership
Jokowi also emphasized the importance of relations with the United States as one of Indonesia's most important partners. Therefore, during the meeting, the two agreed to raise the level of partnership between the two countries to a Comprehensive Strategic Partnership (CSP).
Jokowi also stressed the importance of a deep understanding of this partnership, especially in the context of the economy, which is a priority for Indonesia. He emphasized that economic cooperation, including supply chain issues, is a key focus.
Jokowi also stated that the focus to further enhance cooperation between the two countries includes efforts to strengthen security in building supply chains and addressing the climate crisis. In this regard, he emphasized the need to expand cooperation in aspects of ensuring supply chain security as well as enhancing cooperation in addressing the challenges of the climate crisis.
On the same occasion, Biden expressed his view that the increased level of cooperation between Indonesia and the United States into a comprehensive strategic partnership reflected a new era of cooperation between the two countries in various sectors. Biden also emphasized the increased cooperation in the field of security as part of a joint effort.
Integrated Economic Cooperation
Joe Biden will announce programs to promote economic prosperity through investment in strategic sectors, according to a White House press statement Tuesday (Nov. 14). Investments will focus on innovative technologies; micro, small, and medium enterprises; and sustainable development.
In an effort to create a more resilient and sustainable global semiconductor value chain, the U.S. and Indonesia will establish a partnership. The plan is to work with industry associations to lead trade delegations of U.S. semiconductor companies to Indonesia. Indonesia will also become one of the partners of the U. S. International Technology Security and Innovation Fund.
To improve digital connectivity in rural Indonesia, the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) will provide grant support to the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology (Kominfo). This assistance will be used to assess the feasibility of implementing an Open Radio Access Network (Open RAN) with the goal of providing digital connectivity to 1,621 villages.
In addition, the U.S. will invest in emerging businesses in Indonesia with $131 million in new financing from the International Development Finance Corporation (DFC).
In the area of tourism, the U.S. Department of Commerce plans to work with Indonesia on a new initiative to strengthen tourism cooperation, particularly in the areas of business, education, and recreation.
Then, improvement in the trade sector. Jokowi stressed the importance of extending the Generalized System of Preferences (GSP) for Indonesia.
Lastly, the United States reaffirmed its commitment to support Indonesia's application for membership in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).
Energy Transition and Electric Vehicles
Retno Marsudi, Indonesia's Minister of Foreign Affairs, announced that there was agreement in principle on the importance of enhancing cooperation on critical minerals. As a follow-up, a work plan for the establishment of a Critical Minerals Agreement (CMA) will be developed. If the CMA is established, Indonesia is expected to be a sustainable supplier of critical minerals for the United States electric car battery needs in the long term.
Marsudi also emphasized that the two leaders agreed on the importance of immediately implementing the Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP). Jokowi asked for U.S. assistance in accelerating Indonesia's energy transition, including implementing the PLTU early retirement program and developing the country's electricity transmission and distribution infrastructure.
In addition, The Indonesian government plans to enter into a $15 billion investment partnership with ExxonMobil. The primary objective is to stimulate industrial growth and advance decarbonization efforts in Indonesia, with potential implications for the entire Indo-Pacific region. One of the projects under consideration is a joint assessment by ExxonMobil and Pertamina of a potential underground carbon sequestration center in the Java Sea. The project could store at least three billion metric tons of carbon dioxide.