Jakarta-wapresri.go.id Vice President Jusuf Kalla held a bilateral meeting with the Vice President of the United States Michael Richard Pence at the Vice Presidential Palace on Jalan Merdeka Selatan, Jakarta, right after Vice President Pence was received by President Joko Widodo at the Merdeka Palace on Thursday, (April 20).

In the meeting, Vice President Jusuf Kalla talked primarily on improving economic relations between Indonesia and the US, and both countries’ contribution in creating world peace.

In the economic field, Vice President Jusuf Kalla observed that the strategic partnership of both countries is very important.

According to him, Indonesia is ready to utilize US products, such as Boeing aircraft that will support the connectivity of Indonesia which is an archipelagic country. In return, he continued, Indonesia also hopes that high quality US products can be produced in Indonesia.

“In addition, Indonesia hopes that its agricultural products can enter the US market,” he said.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla further encouraged increased business-to-business cooperation between the two countries.

In response, Vice President Pence assessed that in general the bilateral relationship between the US and Indonesia is positive.

Although President Trump’s policy give priority to the US interests (America First), Pence continued, the US is open for opportunities in trade and investment. He also agreed with the view of President Joko Widodo on the need for bilateral cooperation that give mutual benefit (win-win cooperation).

“The current US policy emphasizes bilateral approaches and is less dependent on multilateral agreements, such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP),” Pence said.

To that end, he added, the US encouraged that bilateral negotiations between the two countries in the field of trade are further strengthened.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla on the occasion also talk on the anti-dumping petition in the US against biodiesel products from Indonesia. He also underscored that Indonesia does not apply dumping policy on its palm oil products exported to the US and other countries.

In response, Vice President Pence said that the US government gives opportunity to all parties including Indonesia to provide arguments and evidences that counteract the conflicting view of the product.

Both leaders then continued their conversation on the issue of radicalism that has developed rapidly and threatens the world peace.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla said that good democratic life and economic equality are keys to addressing radicalism.

“Countries with poor political life are will open up opportunities for radicalism,” he said.

In response, Vice President Pence said that the United States is committed to increasing support for the efforts to eradicate radicalism, one of which is through the exchange of intelligence data.

“Similar efforts have also been made to counter terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Yemen, and others,” he added.

Vice President Pence also appreciated Islam in Indonesia that is quite moderate and has become an inspiration for other countries.

“We admire Islam, democracy, and moderation that can co-exist in Indonesia,” Pence said.

Noisy, yet peaceful democracy

This Vice President Pence’s first visit to Indonesia was made exactly one day after the second round of Jakarta gubernatorial election.

“Although it was noisy, (the election) is peaceful and all parties can accept the results. This election also showed how democracy is in Indonesia,” said Vice President Jusuf Kalla.

Pence then praised the success of Indonesia’s peaceful elections.

“The US sees Indonesia consistently able to maintain democratic life over the past twenty years,” he said.

Accompanying Vice President Pence in the meeting were Chief of Staff to the Vice President Joshua Pitcock, National Security Advisor to the Vice President Andrea Thompson, US Ambassador to Indonesia Joseph Donovan, Deputy Chief of Staff to the Vice President Jen Pavlik, Vice President Communications Director to the Vice President Jarred Agen, US Deputy Chief of Mission to Indonesia Brian McFeeters, Special Advisor for Asia to the Vice President Aiko Lane, and Chief Economist to the Vice President Mark Calabria.

Meanwhile, Vice President Jusuf Kalla attended the meeting with Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Wiranto; Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution; Coordinating Minister for Marine Affairs Luhut B. Panjaitan; Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi; Minister of Trade Enggartiasto Lukito; Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources Ignasius Jonan; Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the United States Budi Bowoleksono; Head of the Vice Presidential Secretariat Mohamad Oemar; and Director General of America and Europe, Ministry of Foreign Affairs Muhammad Anshor.