Singapore-Indonesia Leaders' Retreat, 29 April 2024

29 April 2024

Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong met Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Bogor, Indonesia on 29 April 2024 for the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ Retreat. This was Prime Minister Lee’s seventh Leaders’ Retreat with President Joko Widodo, and the final between the two Leaders. The Leaders’ Retreat has been convened annually since 2016, with the exception of 2020 and 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic. This commitment to regular exchanges between the Leaders demonstrates the high-level attention paid to bilateral ties by both sides and the substantive cooperation that Singapore and Indonesia have developed over the years.


  The Leaders welcomed the entry into force of the agreements under the Expanded Framework on 21 March 2024 as a historic milestone in bilateral relations. The Agreement on the Realignment of the Boundary between the Jakarta Flight Information Region (FIR) and the Singapore FIR, the Treaty for the Extradition of Fugitives, and the Defence Cooperation Agreement have resolved three long-standing issues. The Leaders agreed that thesuccessful conclusion and entry into force of these agreements demonstrated that Singapore and Indonesia could address complicated issues in a pragmatic and mutually-beneficial manner when we commit to working together in a spirit of friendship and openness. The Leaders reaffirmed their commitment to ensuring the smooth implementation of all three agreements.


Prime Minister Lee and President Joko Widodo welcomed the significant progress in bilateral cooperation over the past decade. The economic relationship is robust, with investments from Singapore to Indonesia amounting to more than S$74 billion cumulatively. The Leaders welcomed the 5th extension of the Bilateral Financing Agreement between the Monetary Authority of Singapore and Bank Indonesia, which reinforces the ongoing financial cooperation in preserving monetary and financial stability in both countries amid global macroeconomic uncertainties. Prime Minister Lee and President Joko Widodo also witnessed the signing of the Joint Update on Defence Cooperation (JUDC) between Minister for Defence Dr Ng Eng Hen and Indonesian President-elect and Minister of Defence Prabowo Subianto, which looks back on key interactions in the past year and highlights new and enhanced areas of collaboration for the year ahead.


Prime Minister Lee and President Joko Widodo agreed that the bilateral relationship is on firm footing to embark on pathfinding cooperation in new growth areas. The Leaders recognised the enormous potential of the green economy for both countriesThey also reaffirmed the importance of working together to ensure that our societies are prepared and remain resilient to the changes in our physical and global environments. They witnessed the signing of the MOU on Community Empowerment in Mangrove Ecosystems by Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean and Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investments Luhut Pandjaitan. They agreed to sustain the positive momentum in facilitating cross-border electricity trading, including accelerating the development of power interconnectors between Indonesia and Singapore. They also welcomed the good progress in exploring collaboration in carbon capture and storage.


The Leaders discussed the digital economy as another promising area of cooperation and growth for both countries. They welcomed the signing of the MOU on Cooperation on Digital Transformation between Singapore’s Ministry of Communications and Information and Indonesia’s Ministry for Communications and Informatics. The Leaders also announced the launch of the pilot of the Tech:X programme, a bilateral manpower arrangement which will allow young tech professionals from Indonesia and Singapore to pursue short-term working stints and gain valuable exposure in the other country. These initiatives are a positive step towards jointly harnessing the energy and ideas from the human capital in both our countries, and building up a future-ready and forward-looking workforce.


Prime Minister Lee and President Joko Widodo also exchanged views on regional and global developments. They reiterated their commitment to working together, with ASEAN and in other international organisations like the UN, to address shared challenges.


Prime Minister Lee noted that this was his last Leaders’ Retreat with President Joko Widodo, and last overseas visit as Prime Minister. Prime Minister Lee took the opportunity to thank President Joko Widodo for his contributions to the bilateral relationship. Prime Minister Lee welcomed Indonesia’s strong economic trajectory, which has brought stability, progress and optimism to Indonesia and benefited the region. Prime Minister Lee reaffirmed Singapore’s continued support for Indonesia’s growth and prosperity, and commitment to strengthen the interdependence between both countries. Both Leaders agreed that the progress in the bilateral relationship was made possible by the shared commitment to mutual understanding and the building of strong interpersonal relationships at all levels, and expressed confidence that future generations would keep up the good momentum in bilateral cooperation.



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29 APRIL 2024

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