The visit of Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite to Indonesia last week was the first trip of a Lithuanian president to the archipelago since the establishment of diplomatic relations between both countries 24 years ago. Besides deepening political ties, the visit’s goal was to strengthen economic cooperation. For example, Setya Novanto, Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives, expects the trade value between Indonesia and Lithuania to exceed the USD 38.6 million recorded in 2016 in the coming years.
Two memorandums of understanding on transportation and renewable energy were signed in presence of Indonesian president Joko “Jokowi” Widodo and Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite. The first aims at establishing IT and other technical systems for land and air transportation, particularly for aircraft reparation and maintenance, while the latter foresees an intensified cooperation on biomass and ethanol-based biofuel from waste.
Underlining Lithuania’s will for closer cooperation, President Grybauskaite stated Lithuania’s readiness to support the free trade negotiations between Indonesia and the EU as well as a free-visa policy for EU Member States. Furthermore, both sides expressed their hope that the sectors covered in the memorandums of understanding are only a starting point for further economic cooperation. Setya Novanto for example suggested initiating more people-to-people programs, especially in the field of education, culture and tourism, while President Grybauskaite expressed the idea of partnerships in science, tourism and agriculture.