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Foreign Secretary welcomes Indonesian President's state visit

The Foreign Secretary William Hague has expressed his determination to forge strong partnerships with South East Asia

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Speaking to Parliament just before the visit the Foreign Secretary said:

“As well having one of the world’s most thriving economies, Indonesia is in the vanguard of the political change shaping Asia. This visit will be an opportunity for us to build on the strong partnership established over the last decade.

“In that time Indonesia’s path from dictatorship to democracy alongside growing prosperity has become an important example to the world. In particular President Yudhoyono’s leadership on climate change and other global issues has underscored the values that our two countries share.

“As it is a key voice in South East Asia I am determined to work with Indonesia and its neighbouring countries so that we continue to turn these shared values into shared action and realise the benefits of greater freedom, prosperity and security together.”

The Foriegn Secretary William Hague met the Foreign Minister of the Republic of Indonesia Dr. R.M. Marty M. Natalegawa

The Queen welcomed President Yudhoyono to the UK during her speech at the State Banquet, she highlighted the common values of Britain and Indonesia and congratulated the President on his work spreading the values of Indonesia’s vibrant democracy through the Bali Democracy Forum.

Click here for the full text of the speech.

The Prime Minister met President Yudhoyono at Downing Street today they had constructive discussions on a number of areas. Their talks focused on UK-Indonesian trade and investment and the EU-Indonesia Partnership Agreement which aims to reduce barriers to trade.

Click her to see read a statement from a spokesperson for the Prime Minister

South East Asia is a vital engine of global economic growth and in 2012 UK has embraced the opportunities this presents by mounting an unprecedented level of diplomatic engagement in the region. This will continue with the arrival of President Yudhoyono of Indonesia on a state visit to the UK. Then next week the Foreign Secretary will visit Laos, and Thailand including representing the UK at the Asia Europe Meeting (ASEM) Summit in Bangkok on 5-6 November. Also in November the UK expects to welcome Prime Minister Yingluck of Thailand.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and his wife, First Lady Ani Bambang Yudhoyono will pay a State Visit to the UK from 31 October-2 November.

The visit comes in the context of the increasing global political and economic significance of Indonesia, and of Indonesia’s relations with the UK. Indonesia has the 4th largest population in the world, and has transformed dramatically over the past 15 years to become the world’s largest Muslim democracy. It is currently the 18th largest economy in the world projected to be one of the top 10 economies in 2020 and possibly in the top 7 by 2030.

Total trade with UK in 2011 was £2.4billion (up 10% year on year). In 2011 exports of goods and services to Indonesia were worth £0.97billion, an increase of 28%, whilst UK imports from Indonesia increased 0.6% to £1.4 bn. Leading British investors include Jardines, BP, Premier Oil, Shell, Unilever, HSBC, Standard Chartered Bank, Prudential, GlaxoSmithKline, and Astra Zeneca. In April 2012 the Prime Minister and President Yudhoyono announced a commitment to double trade (goods & services) by 2015 to £4.4billion. The President is accompanied on this visit by a large business delegation.

As well as spending time with the Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, the President will meet other members of the Royal Family, including the Prince of his Wales and the Duchess of Cornwall. He will meet the Prime Minister David Cameron, and separately, Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, and the leader of the opposition Ed Miliband. The visit also coincides with the second meeting of the UN High Level Panel on Post 2015 development, which the Prime Minister, President Yudhoyono and Liberian President Sirleaf are co-chairs. Other highlights will be the President giving the Wilton Park annual address on “Indonesia’s role as a regional and global actor” and a lecture at the Royal College of Defence Studies in his capacity as the only Head of State to have served as a UN peacekeeper.

The Foreign Secretary will travel to South East Asia next week where he will open the UK’s embassy in Laos. This will mean that we have an Embassy in every ASEAN nation - vital to our influence in the region. He will also make sure that the UK’s voice is heard at the Europe Asia Meeting Summit, a highly significant platform for building links between Asian and European nations. In Thailand the Foreign Secretary will meet political and business leaders ahead of the Thai Prime Minister’s visit to the UK in November.

Read about the new British Ambassador to Laos Philip Malone who has presented his credentials to President Choummaly Sayasone.

Published 30 October 2012