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Indonesia Signs Trade Deals with China

Chinese President Hu Jintao, right, and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, left, walk together during a welcome ceremony at the Great Hall of the People in Beijing, China, March 23, 2012.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has signed $17 billion in trade deals with Chinese leaders in Beijing.

Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono wrapped up a two-day visit to Beijing, where he met with Chinese President Hu Jintao.

Following the meetings the two countries signed $17 billion in trade deals in mining, hydropower, steel, agriculture and textiles industries.

The agreements also included a range of strategic issues including maritime cooperation; Chinese tourism to Indonesia; and efforts to fight drug trafficking.

Before the meetings Hu commented on the importance of China’s relationship with Indonesia.

Hu says in these times of a complex and ever-changing international situation, this visit by the president will strengthen strategic communication between our two countries and expand practical cooperation.

Indonesia is a top destination for Chinese investment to meet China’s growing demand for commodities such as palm oil and tin. Last year bilateral trade reached nearly $61 billion.

Foreign Ministry spokesperson Hong Lei said today’s meetings deepened strategic and economic cooperation between the two countries. He says the two sides exchanged in depth views on bilateral relations and international and regional issues of common interest, and reached consensus.

Indonesia is the world’s fourth-most-populous nation, and its economy is growing at a rate of 6.5 percent a year, making it a prominent trading partner for many countries in Asia. Trade between Indonesia and China increased 50 percent year on year from 2010 to 2011.

President Yudhoyono’s China visit is the first stop on an Asian trip. He next heads to Hong Kong on March 24th and Seoul on the 25th where he will meet with South Korean President Lee Myung-bak and attend the global nuclear security summit.