Duterte meets with Indonesia's Widodo

Vivienne Gulla, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Jun 23 2019 07:43 AM | Updated as of Jun 23 2019 11:06 AM

President Rodrigo Duterte holds a bilateral meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo on the sidelines of the 34th Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit at The Athenee Hotel in Bangkok, Thailand on June 22, 2019. Simeon Celi Jr., Presidential Photo

BANGKOK, Thailand -- (2ND UPDATE) President Rodrigo Duterte held a bilateral meeting with Indonesian President Joko Widodo here Saturday night on the sidelines of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summit.

The two leaders discussed the completion of domestic requirements for its maritime boundary treaty, according to a joint statement by both countries.

"This landmark accord concluded between the two biggest archipelagic states stands as a valuable example of the peaceful and rules-based settlement of maritime borders in accordance with 1982 United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS)," the statement read.

The agreement provides legal certainty on the boundaries of the exclusive economic zone of both Manila and Jakarta, and is expected to come into force within the year.

"This significant and positive development attests to the strong bonds of friendship and cooperation between the Philippines and Indonesia, and adds further meaning to the ongoing celebration of the 70th anniversary of bilateral relations," the joint statement added.

 

Duterte and Widodo are both in Bangkok to attend the 34th ASEAN Summit. They held bilateral talks following the gala dinner for ASEAN leaders.

Included in the meeting were Presidential Spokesperson Salvador Panelo, Trade Secretary Ramon Lopez, Foreign Affairs Secretary Teodoro Locsin Jr., Finance Secretary Carlos Dominguez III, Agriculture Secretary Emmanuel Piñol, and Social Welfare Secretary Rolando Bautista and their Indonesian counterparts.

Lopez said the meeting covered areas of cooperation in securing peace and order, terrorism, illegal drugs, and corruption.

ON TRADE

During the meeting, Lopez said trade officials from both sides were also asked to resolve the current issue on safeguard measures imposed by the Philippines against instant coffee imports from Indonesia.

The lower import price, which is below the set trigger price of P203.74 per kilo set by the Philippines, has led to higher imports affecting local manufacturers in the Philippines. 

The issue has also prompted a review of the current restrictive market access of Philippine products to Indonesia. 

"We reported that we had trade bilateral meeting yesterday to address this issue and agreed to have more Indonesian market access for agri-based products such as bananas, shallots, coconut products, food and beverages and industrial products such as auto parts, among others to grow more the Philippine exports," he said, noting that there is also a commitment to put up a Kopiko coffee processing plant in the Philippines. 

Duterte and Widodo last held talks in 2018 in Bali, Indonesia on the sidelines of the annual meetings of the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank.

On Sunday, President Duterte is also set to hold bilateral talks with Thai Prime Minister Prayut Chan-o-cha before returning to the Philippines.