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Indonesia

Overview

Singapore and Indonesia enjoy warm and friendly ties. Our Leaders and Ministers work closely together bilaterally, as well as at ASEAN and various international fora, to advance common interests. We have regular high-level exchanges, including the annual Leaders’ Retreat and the Six Bilateral Economic Working Groups Ministerial Meeting. These exchanges strengthen our ties with Indonesia both at the central government and at the provincial levels.

Our relations are underpinned by strong economic cooperation. Bilateral trade reached $65 billion in 2018, and Singapore has been the top foreign investor in Indonesia since 2014. Both countries also have substantive cooperation across a wide range of sectors, including education, culture, defence and the environment.

Recent Highlights

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  • Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean visited Jakarta from 23 to 25 November. 
  • Indonesian Vice-President Jusuf Kalla visited Singapore on 9 August for the SG50 National Day Parade.
  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo made a State Visit to Singapore from 28 to 29 July.
  • Former Indonesian President Megawati Soekarnoputri and Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Human Development and Culture Puan Maharani visited Singapore on 5 June for the Opening Ceremony of the SEA Games.
  • Former Indonesian President Dr Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited Singapore from 10 to 11 April for the inaugural Singapore Forum and delivered the keynote address. 
  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian President Joko Widodo met in Semarang, Central Java, for the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ Retreat on 14 November.
  • Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan made an introductory visit to Indonesia from 12 to 13 January.  
  • Joint submission by Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan and Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi of the Treaty Between the Republic of Singapore and the Republic of Indonesia Relating to the Delimitation of the Territorial Seas in the Eastern Part of the Strait of Singapore for registration with the United Nations on 25 September.
  • Visit by Indonesian President Joko Widodo to Singapore for the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ Retreat on 7 September. The Leaders’ Retreat commemorated the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Singapore and Indonesia (RISING50). The theme of the retreat was “Trusted Partners, RISING Together”. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Joko Widodo agreed to cooperate in areas such as digital technology, vocational training, and tourism. Nine MOUs were signed during the Leaders’ Retreat. Both Leaders also witnessed a joint flypast by the Republic of Singapore Air Force and the Indonesian Air Force, as well as a joint performance by the military bands from the Singapore Armed Forces and the Indonesian National Armed Forces. Both Leaders also attended the Singapore-Indonesia Investment Forum.
  • Visit by Indonesian Minister of Industry Airlangga Hartarto to Singapore from 6 to 11 September as the 56th Lee Kuan Yew Exchange Fellow.
  • Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan visited Medan in North Sumatra Province and Batam in Riau Islands (KEPRI) Province from 29 to 30 August. Minister Balakrishnan officiated at the upgrading of the Consulates of the Republic of Singapore in Medan and Batam to Consulates-General, and was the Guest of Honour at the Singapore National Day Receptions in Medan and in Batam.
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean visited Jakarta from 10 to 12 August where he was the Guest of Honour at the 52nd National Day Reception and at the Singapore Community Day.
  • Minister (Trade & Industry)(Trade) Lim Hng Kiang visited Jakarta from 27 to 28 July to co-chair the 7th Singapore-Indonesia Six Bilateral Economic Working Groups Ministerial Meeting (6WGMM) with Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution. Both Ministers witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding to establish the Indonesia-Singapore Business Council. Mr Lim also met Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan, Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukita, and Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board Chairman Thomas Lembong.
  • Senior Minister of State (Defence and Foreign Affairs) Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman visited Pekanbaru, Riau Province and Jambi City, Jambi Province from 25 to 28 July. Dr Maliki met Riau Governor Arsyadjuliandi Rachman, Pekanbaru Mayor Firdaus, Jambi Vice-Governor Fachrori Umar and Jambi City Mayor Syarif Fasha and Vice-Mayor Abdullah Sani. This visit is part of Singapore’s continued efforts to expand cooperation and deepen ties with Indonesia at the regional level.
  • Minister (Environment and Water Resources) Masagos Zulkifli visited Palembang, South Sumatra Province, and Jakarta from 10 to 12 July to further cooperation in the environmental sector. Mr Masagos met Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan, and South Sumatra Governor Alex Noerdin, as well as representatives from environmental NGOs and the business community. During the visit Mr Masagos conveyed details of our Haze Assistance Package, and reaffirmed Singapore’s commitment to cooperate with Indonesia on addressing environmental challenges.
  • Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan made a working visit to Batam, Riau Islands Province on 25 April. During the visit, Dr Vivian met Riau Islands Governor Nurdin Basirun and Batam Mayor Muhammad Rudi. Batam is one of Singapore’s closest neighbours with whom we share deep economic and people-to-people linkages.
  • Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean was in Jakarta to attend the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Commemorative Leaders’ Summit as Special Envoy of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and to meet several prominent Indonesian personalities and Indonesian leaders, including Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan, and PDI-P Chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri.
  • Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi visited Singapore from 9 to 10 February. Minister Marsudi and Minister (Foreign Affairs) Dr Vivian Balakrishnan exchanged the Instruments of Ratification for the Treaty between the Republic of Singapore and the Republic of Indonesia relating to the Delimitation of the Territorial Seas of the Two Countries in the Eastern Part of the Strait of Singapore. Both Foreign Ministers also jointly announced that Singapore and Indonesia would commemorate the 50th anniversary of bilateral relations in 2017.
  • Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan visited Jakarta from 13 to 14 February. During the visit, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan met several Indonesian leaders, including Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, and Minister of Industry Airlangga Hartarto.

  • Senior Minister of State (Defence) (Foreign Affairs) Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman made a working visit to Jakarta and Surabaya from 13 to 15 March. He met Vice-Minister of Foreign Affairs A.M. Fachir, Jakarta Vice-Governor Sandiaga Uno, Special Envoy for Interfaith Dialogue and Civilisation Affairs Dr Din Syamsuddin and Muhammadiyah Chairman Dr Haedar Nashir in Jakarta. In Surabaya, Dr Maliki met East Java Regional House of Representatives Speaker Abdul Halim Iskandar media representatives and business leaders.

  • Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan visited Batam on 20 March to officiate the launch of the Nongsa Digital Park, together with Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi.

  • Deputy Prime Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean visited Jakarta from 18 to 20 July. He met President Joko Widodo, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan, Minister of Industry Airlangga Hartarto, Commander of the Indonesian National Armed Forces Hadi Tjahjanto, and Jakarta Governor Dr Anies Baswedan. DPM Teo also took the opportunity to interact with young Singapore professionals based in Jakarta, as well as Indonesian media personalities and senior business leaders.

  • Senior Minister of State (Defence) (Foreign Affairs) Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman made a working visit to Medan and Batam from 14 to 15 August. SMS Maliki was the Guest-of-Honour at the Singapore National Day receptions hosted by the Singapore Consulates-General in Medan and Batam, where he met members of the Singaporean community living in both provinces. In Medan, he met North Sumatra Provincial Secretary R. Sabrina, Medan Mayor Dzulmi Eldin, and North Sumatra Vice Governor-elect Musa Rajekshah. In Batam, SMS had a joint meeting with KEPRI Assistant for Economy and Development Syamsul Bahrum, Batam Mayor Muhammad Rudi, and BP Batam Chairman Lukita Dinarsyah. SMS Maliki also visited Nongsa Digital Park.

  •  Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Joko Widodo met in Bali for the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ Retreat on 11 October. During the Retreat, the Leaders reaffirmed the excellent state of relations between Singapore and Indonesia, and agreed to continue building on this strong foundation of trust and mutually-beneficial cooperation. A total of seven Memoranda of Understanding and Agreements were signed in conjunction with the Retreat, including the Bilateral Investment Treaty, Cultural Cooperation Programme, and the MOU on Financial Technology Cooperation. The Leaders also agreed on a US$10 billion bilateral financial arrangement, comprising a bilateral local currency swap and USD repurchase agreement, and to cooperate on a “RISING Fellowship”, the aim of which is to strengthen ties between Singaporean and Indonesian regional leaders.
  • Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung visited Jakarta and Central Java from 8 to 10 January 2019. In Jakarta, Minister Ong met several political and business leaders, including Minister for Education and Culture Dr Muhadjir Effendy and Minister for Industry Airlangga Hartarto. In Central Java, Minister Ong attended the official opening of the Kendal Furniture and Wood Processing Industry Polytechnic, located in the Kendal Industrial Park (KIP). KIP is a joint venture between Singapore’s Sembcorp Development and Indonesia’s PT Jababeka, which was opened by Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian President Joko Widodo in November 2016. Minister Ong and Minister Airlangga also witnessed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Singapore Polytechnic and Indonesia’s Ministry of Industry to deepen cooperation in human resource education and training related to Industry 4.0.
  • Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan visited Jakarta from 16 to 18 July 2019. During the visit, Dr Vivian Balakrishnan met Indonesian President Joko Widodo, Vice-President-Elect Ma’ruf Amin, Former President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, Minister of Industry Airlangga Hartarto, National Awakening Party (PKB) Chairman Bapak Muhaimin Iskandar, and former Jakarta Vice-Governor Bapak Sandiaga Uno, and other Indonesian personalities.
  • Indonesian President Joko Widodo and his spouse, Ibu Iriana Joko Widodo, along with the leaders of Malaysia and Brunei, attended the Bicentennial edition of Singapore’s National Day Parade on 9 August 2019 at the invitation of Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong. President Joko Widodo and Ibu Iriana also met Prime Minister Lee and Mrs Lee at the National Gallery prior to the start of the Parade.
  • Senior Minister of State (Defence) (Foreign Affairs) Dr Mohamad Maliki Osman visited Batam in Riau Islands (KEPRI) Province on 15 August 2019. SMS Maliki called on Acting KEPRI Governor Bapak H. Isdianto and met with BP Batam Chairman Edy Putra Irawady. SMS Maliki was also the Guest-of-Honour at the Singapore National Day Reception organised by the Singapore Consulate-General in Batam.
  • Senior Minister and Coordinating Minister for National Security Teo Chee Hean visited Jakarta from 11 to 12 September 2019. SM Teo met Indonesian Vice-President-Elect Ma’ruf Amin and Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Luhut Pandjaitan.
  • Minister for Trade & Industry Chan Chun Sing visited Jakarta from 16 to 18 September 2019 to co-chair the 9th Singapore-Indonesia Six Bilateral Economic Working Groups Ministerial Meeting (6WGMM) with Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution. Both Ministers discussed bilateral cooperation on infrastructure, human capital development, and the digital economy. Minister Chan also met former Indonesian President and PDI-P Chairperson Megawati Soekarnoputri, former Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Minister of Industry Airlangga Hartarto, and former Jakarta Vice-Governor Bapak Sandiaga Uno.
  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and President Joko Widodo met in Singapore for their fourth Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ Retreat on 8 October 2019. During the Retreat, both Leaders reaffirmed the excellent state of bilateral relations and took stock of the comprehensive bilateral cooperation across the economic, people-to-people, and security sectors. The Leaders tasked their officials to organise a Singapore-Indonesia Civil Service Forum and welcomed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding on Archives Cooperation between the National Archives of Singapore, and an Agreement between Indonesia and Singapore on Electronic Data Exchange to Facilitate and Secure Trade. The good working relationship and the strong relations between Singapore and Indonesia enabled both sides to discuss longstanding issues in an open and constructive manner. Two such issues are airspace management and military training in accordance with the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. In this regard, the Leaders welcomed the agreed framework for discussions, which laid out the core principles and considerations concerning these issues. The framework acknowledges that the core interests and rights of both countries must be recognised and respected, and that Singapore and Indonesia will negotiate subsequent agreements on these two issues which are durable and for the long haul. The Leaders noted that the framework was a sound and comprehensive basis to work out solutions to these issues, separately and concurrently.
  • Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Mrs Lee Hsien Loong and Minister for Education Ong Ye Kung visited Jakarta on 20 October 2019 to attend the inauguration of President Joko Widodo for a second term.
  • Singapore hosted a visit by Indonesian regional leaders for the inaugural RISING Fellowship from 18 to 21 November 2019. Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian President Joko Widodo had announced the RISING Fellowship at the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ Retreat in 2018. The theme for the Fellowship was “Industry 4.0 Transformation and Investment Promotion”. The regional leaders met Ministry for Trade and Industry Chan Chun Sing and Minister for Foreign Affairs Dr Vivian Balakrishnan. They were also hosted to lunch by Minister for National Development and Second Minister for Finance Lawrence Wong and engaged in a wide-ranging dialogue session with Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for Finance Heng Swee Keat.
  • Speaker of Parliament Tan Chuan-Jin made an official visit to Jakarta from 18 to 20 November 2019. He was accompanied by MPs Joan Pereira, Low Thia Khiang, Gan Thiam Poh, Henry Kwek, Saktiandi Supaat and Murali Pillai. Speaker and the MPs called on President Joko Widodo, and met Speaker of the People’s Consultative Assembly Bambang Soesatyo and parliamentarians from the Indonesian House of Representatives Commission I and the Committee for Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation.

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