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PM Lee, President Widodo reaffirm close Singapore-Indonesia ties

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Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian President Joko Widodo reaffirmed the two countries' close ties at a meeting in Singapore and pledged to continue to work together in the areas of economy, defence and "people-to-people ties".

SINGAPORE Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian President Joko Widodo reaffirmed the two countries' close ties at a meeting in Singapore and pledged to continue to work together in the areas of economy, defence and "people-to-people ties".

Describing Mr Widodo's introductory and first official visit to Singapore as "meaningful", Mr Lee said the ties between the two countries have grown, broadened and strengthened over the decades.

Speaking at a joint press conference at the Istana, Mr Lee pointed out that Singapore has consistently been a top trading partner and investor in Indonesia, and vice versa.

"Indonesia has always been an attractive destination for Singapore companies. We agreed to work together to make it even more attractive," said Mr Lee.

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This includes taking advantage of opportunities in areas such as the Batam, Bintan and Karimun (BKK) special economic zone.

Acknowledging that there are issues in the special zone, Mr Widodo said the government was intent on sorting out these problems to woo more Singapore companies to invest in the BKK area.

Both leaders witnessed the signing of two memorandums of understanding to further their cooperation in e-government and youth and sports development.

They also witnessed the signing of a Strategic Cooperation Agreement between Singapore Business Federation and KADIN Indonesia, the first such agreement between two apex chambers in Asean.

The comprehensive agreement forms a business-to-business platform to promote Singapore investments in Indonesia.

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