Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Maraud and her Italian counterpart Angelino Alfano discussed ways on Wednesday to expand bilateral ties to mark the 70th anniversary of their diplomatic relations.
The two met in Retno's office as part of Alfano's tour to Southeast Asian nations.
"We discussed several activities that Indonesia and Italy can do to mark 70th anniversary of diplomatic relations next year. We agreed to highlight the creative economy and Small Middle Enterprises (SMEs) to celebrate the anniversary," Retno told a joint press conference after the meeting.
She said Alfano's visit, which came four months after her visit to Italy, has showed commitment of the two countries to further expand bilateral relations.
She added that Indonesia and Italy saw increasing economy cooperation with Italy becoming Indonesia's third largest trade partner in Europe.
The Indonesian foreign minister said that two-way trade between Indonesia and Italy as of November last year stood at 3 billion U.S. dollars, or 16 percent higher than it was in the corresponding period a year earlier.
"We want to use this positive trend to further enhance our bilateral economy cooperation, particularly in the trade sector," Retno said.
For his part, Alfano expressed Italy's eagerness to enhance its bilateral cooperation with Indonesia, saying that the two countries have closely engaged in cooperation within the Group of 20.
"Italy and Indonesia relation is very excellent. Italy sees Indonesia as a partner which is very supportive in strengthening the cooperation," he said.(2018-02-07 Xinhua)