TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi met Indian Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Vijay Kumar Singh on Friday in which both sides agreed to increase bilateral cooperation through the Indian Ocean Rim Association.
The two met on the sidelines of the IORA meetings in Padang, West Sumatra, according to a written press statement issued by the foreign ministry and received here.
The two exchanged views regarding Indonesia-India Eminent Persons Group which will be holding its first meeting in Indonesia at the end of this year.
The II-EPG will comprise personalities from the two countries who would exchange views to produce recommendations for strengthening bilateral strategic cooperation.
Minister Retno hailed the Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansaris plan to visit Indonesia from November 1-4, 2015.
During the visit, the Indian Vice President is also scheduled to meet his Indonesian counterpart Jusuf Kalla to discuss efforts to enhance bilateral relations.
Several concrete cooperation programs would be discussed, including a memorandum of understanding on renewable energy and cultural exchange.
The Indian Vice President is also scheduled to attend the Indonesia-India Business Forum and deliver a general lecture.
Besides discussing Ansaris upcoming visit, the two ministers also discussed the planned Fifth Joint Commission Meeting in Indonesia.
"This is a forum for the two countries to review progress in our bilateral relations," Minister Retno said.
The two ministers also discussed plans to give a free visa facility to Indonesian citizens who wish to visit India and Garuda Indonesias plan to open a new route to India in the near future.
India has been one of Indonesias important strategic trade partners, with the total trade between the two countries reaching US$16.20 billion in 2014 while Indian investment in Indonesia reached US$37.1 billion in 137 projects. Around 217,000 Indian tourists visit Indonesia every year.