Source : Jakarta Post
June 28, 2011
By Mustaqim Adamrah
French Prime Minister François Fillon is scheduled to come to Indonesia for a state visit following Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s state visit to Paris in 2009.
Fillion will visit in lieu of French President Nicolas Sarkozy, who was previously expected to come to Indonesia. Teuku Faizasyah, the President’s spokesman for international affairs, said on Monday that Fillon was scheduled to arrive in Jakarta on Thursday and to return to France on Saturday.
Fillon was expected to go to Kalibata Heroes Cemetery, meet Yudhoyono and attend a dinner banquet on July 1, he said.
“[Fillon] and the President will discuss… a strategic partnership agreement in numerous fields, with the main focus on strategic industries, trade and investment, including investment on the infrastructure sector through the MP3EI,” he said, adding that Yudhoyono and Fillon were expected to sign the partnership during the visit.
The pair were also expected to ink bilateral agreements on education and tourism promotions, according to Faizasyah.
The so-called “Master Plan for the Acceleration and Expansion of Indonesian Economic Growth” (MP3EI) was launched by the President before hundreds of high-ranking officials and business executives in May.
The plan, which critics say overlaps with similar programs, offers 17 new infrastructure projects worth Rp 190 trillion (US$22.04 billion), including developing nationwide broadband Internet access, hydropower and solar power plants, modern steel mills, a palm oil industry zone, access roads, toll roads, airports, dams, reservoirs, as well as nickel, cobalt and aluminium facilities throughout economic corridors in Sumatra, Java and West Nusa Tenggara-Bali and Maluku-Papua.
Faizasyah said Fillon would also explore a possibility to help Indonesia conserve its environment and implement REDD (reducing emission from deforestation and forest degradation) Plus programs.
REDD+ programs include tree planting initiatives intended to increase the absorption of carbon and slow global warming, according to the United Nations.
On May 26, 2010, the Indonesian and Norwegian governments signed a moratorium agreement under the REDD+ scheme requiring Indonesia to stop converting natural forests and peatlands for commercial purposes for two years. In return, Norway would provide compensation of $1 billion.
The Foreign Ministry’s American and European affairs director – general, Retno Marsudi, said Yudhoyono and Fillon would also discuss Indonesia’s current chairmanship of ASEAN and the upcoming G20 Summit in Cannes, France, on Nov. 3-4.
There will also be a meeting between French and Indonesian businesspeople as Fillon will be leading around 29 French business people from various sectors, according to Retno.