Taiwan should seek closer cooperation with Indonesia to gain an advantage in regional development in Asia and to “re-engage” Asian countries with comprehensive economic and cultural exchanges, former Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) chairperson Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) said yesterday.
The former presidential candidate returned from a week-long trip to Indonesia on Saturday after meeting with lawmakers, academics and businesspeople to discuss democratic, economic and security developments in the ASEAN region.
With its rich human and natural resources, Indonesia would be able to play an influential role similar to that of the US in Asia, Hung Yao-fu (洪耀福), spokesperson for Tsai’s office, quoted her as saying.
As Jakarta is seeking to play a leading role in the negotiations for the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership, which is composed of the 10 ASEAN member states and six other countries — China, India, Japan, South Korea, Australia and New Zealand — it is important for Taiwan to be in close touch with Indonesia, Hung quoted Tsai as saying.
In meetings with officials, including Indonesian Minister of Manpower and Transmigration Muhaimin Iskandar, both sides agreed that the two countries should promote closer collaboration between Taiwan’s competitive agriculture and manufacturing sector and Indonesia’s rich resources, Hung said.
While Jakarta plans to cease exporting workers by 2017, Iskandar reassured Tsai that Jakarta would not unilaterally freeze Indonesian worker placements to Taiwan, Hung said.
Tsai exchanged opinions with Indonesian think tanks and former security officials on economic integration in East Asia, regional security and cross-strait affairs, as well as the development of the nation’s “third sector,” Hung said.