RI-U.S. Discuss Pandemic Delta variant, Lambda, Vaccine and Trade Deal

Retno Marsudi and Antony Blinken

#COVID-19 Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and United States (U.S.) Foreign Minister Antony Blinken discussed health cooperation at the first strategic dialogue meeting between the two countries in Washington DC, USA, Tuesday (3/8).

The first strategic dialogue between the Indonesian foreign ministers and the US took place in a friendly and very open manner. The Indonesian Foreign Minister's visit to the US was also the first foreign minister's visit from the Southeast Asia region, which was received by Foreign Minister Blinken in Washington DC.

Minister Retno said that for the long term, Indonesia seeks to cooperate with the US, especially for the development of vaccines with mRNA technology and strengthening the global health resilience system. "Long-term cooperation efforts are important in reducing the gap in global access to COVID-19 vaccines and medicines, as well as anticipating the potential for a pandemic to occur in the future," said the Indonesian Foreign Minister, Wednesday (4/8).

During his meeting with Blinken, the Indonesian Foreign Minister expressed his appreciation for the US cooperation and support for Indonesia during the pandemic, this is related to US assistance which has provided more than eight million Moderna COVID-19 vaccines with amechanism dose-sharing. through COVAX facilities.

Earlier in the beginning of the pandemic, the US has provided assistance to 1,000 units ventilator and medical equipment to Indonesia.

the US has also announced additional support to Indonesia amounted to US $ 30 million (approximately Rp429,2 billion) for the treatment COVID-19.

Related cooperation In the health sector, Indonesia is exploring cooperation with the US in the provision of therapeutic drugs.

In addition to health cooperation, the two foreign ministers are also agreed on the amount of room for efforts to increase economic cooperation.

Regarding this aspect, the Indonesian Foreign Minister mentioned the Job Creation Act which is believed to be able to help efforts to increase US investment in Indonesia.

Meanwhile, in the trade sector, Foreign Minister Retno Retno said that the discussion on the limited trade deal (LTD) between the two countries needed to be continued.

Based on government records in 2020, the US is Indonesia's 2nd largest trading partner with a bilateral trade value of US$27 billion (around Rp386.2 trillion).

The Indonesian Foreign Minister and the US Foreign Minister also exchanged opinions on a number of regional and international issues.

Meanwhile, the US Foreign Minister appreciated Indonesia's important role in maintaining regional peace and stability. "Indonesia is a key democratic partner of the US and the US is ready to work together on various important issues in the region," said Blinken.

The two of them also exchanged ideas about the situation in Myanmar and shared their concerns regarding the current development of Myanmar.

Indonesia emphasized that it is important to re-establish democracy in Myanmar and the safety and welfare of the Myanmar people is important to continue to be a priority.

The development of the situation in Afghanistan was also discussed in the RI-US strategic dialogue. Minister Retno emphasized the importance of protecting and empowering women in Afghanistan's future life. "Women must be given the opportunity to develop Afghanistan in the post-conflict future," said the Indonesian Foreign Minister.

The two foreign ministers agreed on the importance of the commitment and goodwill of the parties in Afghanistan to continue peace negotiations.

Regarding the issue of climate change, the Indonesian Foreign Minister conveyed the progress of fulfilling Indonesia's commitments in the issue of climate change. Indonesia is confident that it will be able to meet its emission reduction commitments of 29 percent with national capacity and 41 percent with international assistance by 2030.

Indonesia expects the US and developed countries to also fulfill their commitments, including the provision of a Green Climate Fund to support adaptation programs .

In closing, the Indonesian Foreign Minister also hoped for US support for the Indonesian presidency at the upcoming G-20 meeting in 2022. Minister Retno hopes that the forum will become an arena for creating an inclusive, green, and sustainable world economic recovery.