India keen to enhance strategic ties with Indonesia: Pratibha Patil

India keen to enhance strategic ties with Indonesia: Pratibha Patil


Jakarta: India is keen on cementing its strategic ties with Indonesia in various fields, including security cooperation for the benefit of the countries in the South East Asian region and increasing bilateral trade ties to $10 billion by 2010.

Observing both India and Indonesia are large democracies sharing many common interests, visiting President Pratibha Patil said that it was only appropriate that the two countries develop strategic ties in an expeditious manner.

“We are looking for a significant enhancement in our bilateral ties over the next five yeas in keeping with our commitment as strategic partners," she said in an interview to ‘The Jakarta Post´.

This would mean, she said, the two countries would significantly upgrade the bilateral interaction through the exchange of high level visits, security cooperation, cooperation in science and technology, culture and other areas.

Noting that the India-Asean Free Trade in Goods Agreement has been concluded and is expected to be signed soon, the President, who would have wide ranging discussions with her counterpart Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, said India and Indonesia would benefit from the facilitating environment created by this agreement.

She said that a joint study group has been established to examine the feasibility of a comprehensive economic cooperation agreement between the two countries which is expected to submit its report soon.