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U.S. Department of State

Diplomacy in Action

Indonesia-U.S. Third Joint Commission Meeting (Updated)

Fact Sheet
Office of the Spokesperson
Washington, DC
September 20, 2012


Presidents Obama and Yudhoyono established the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership to broaden and deepen cooperation between our countries, the third and fourth largest democracies in the world. Now in its third annual session, the Comprehensive Partnership’s Joint Commission Meeting has shown how our efforts are bearing fruit. The Joint Commission Meeting plenary session, the meetings of the various working groups, and the many other joint activities under the Comprehensive Partnership throughout the year, show how habits of consultation and cooperation are becoming deeply engrained in the relationship.

Education Working Group:

The Education Working Group highlighted strong progress in academic collaboration and exchange between the United States and Indonesia. Student visa issuances for Indonesians to study in the United States are up by a third. Secretary Clinton’s announcement of the five-year, $83 million PRIORITAS program represents the strong commitment to work with Indonesia to strengthen basic education and provide Indonesians with the skills they need for a prosperous, democratic future. Beyond this, during the last year, we have:

  • Supported the five-year, $15 million Fulbright Indonesia Research, Science, and Technology (FIRST) initiative. The expanded Fulbright program, celebrating its 60th anniversary, now reaches more than 300 U.S. and Indonesian students and scholars, making it one of the largest in the world.
  • Launched a $20 million training project PRESTASI II to develop a cadre of skilled managers and leaders through advanced degree training in the United States and Indonesia.
  • Facilitated 35 University Partnerships that bring together Indonesian and U.S. higher education institutions to conduct joint applied research.
  • Expanded our Community College Initiative Program that has sent more than 100 Indonesian students and 40 faculty and administrators to study at U.S. community colleges.
  • Sent 100 talented Indonesian high school students to study in the United States under the YES and Youth Leadership exchange programs.
  • Launched USAID’s Higher Education Leadership and Management (HELM) project to build the capacity of Indonesian universities and colleges; twenty-five universities have been selected.
  • Awarded more than 900 scholarships under the English Access Microscholarship Program for economically disadvantaged 14-18 year old Indonesian youth, and supported nearly 30 U.S. university students for intensive Indonesian language study in Indonesia.
  • Sponsored 20 English Language Fellows (ELFs) for academic year 2012-13. In 2012, 50 Fulbright English Teaching Assistants will teach at high schools from Medan to Ambon.
  • Hosted the U.S.-Indonesia Higher Education Summit with the Secretary and Minister of Education and bringing together more than 100 higher education leaders from both countries.
  • EducationUSA supported dozens of U.S. university representatives to meet with thousands of Indonesian students about studying in the United States.

Security Working Group:

The Security Working Group discussion covered a wide range of defense, security, counter-terrorism, and non-traditional threat cooperation issues. During the past year, we have:

  • Initiated a Defense Planning Dialogue to engage in information exchanges on the strategic environment, related military tasks and capabilities, and best practices for organizing and managing the defense sector.
  • Continued cooperation on assisting with Indonesia’s defense modernization efforts in order to enhance Indonesia’s active role in regional and global security. These efforts included the transfer of EDA F-16s, and the initiation of FMS cases for Maverick missiles, Apache helicopters, and other essential equipment to meet Indonesian defense requirements.
  • Agreed to negotiate a Communications Interoperability and Security Memorandum of Agreement (CISMOA) to promote communications interoperability and security between our respective armed forces.
  • Continued to enhance the modernization and professionalization of the Indonesian Armed Forces through U.S. security assistance (FMF/IMET). Accomplishments included the completion of the C-130 Programmed Depot Maintenance, the operationalization of the Integrated Maritime Surveillance System (IMSS) and provision of $12 million support for upgrades, and continuation of support for Professional Military Education and training. We agreed to focus future security assistance on building Indonesian aviation maintenance and sustainment capacity, as well as training and education.
  • Reiterated our shared commitment to organizing a humanitarian assistance/disaster relief exercise with regional partners. This exercise will complement our nearly 200 established military-to-military engagements each year.
  • Continued to support the development of the Indonesian Peace and Security Center (IPSC) through the Global Peacekeeping Operations Initiative. This assistance included approximately $8 million for the construction of barracks, the provision of heavy construction equipment for training in preparation for UN missions, the expansion of the language training center, and driving simulators and training vehicles.
  • Continued to promote maritime security cooperation through exercises and exchanges such as EXERCISE CARAT, the first ever bilateral submarine exercise, and maritime security workshops/dialogues.
  • Initiated discussions on new areas for cooperation, including cyber and space policy, and committed to future exchanges of information and technical cooperation.

Democracy and Civil Society Working Group:

The Working Group reiterated our shared commitment to enhancing open governance, promoting democracy and deepening linkages between U.S. and Indonesian civil society organizations. During the past year, we have:

  • We agreed to collaborate and coordinate efforts to further develop South-South and Triangular Cooperation and discussed planning for the first two triangular cooperation projects, vis-a-vis disaster preparedness training with Burma and a regional conference on empowering women.
  • Agreed to sponsor ten senior Indonesian election officials from the General Election Commission (KPU), Election Supervision Body (BAWASLU), and Government of Indonesia to travel to the United States to observe the 2012 Presidential election.
  • Supported an exchange visit to the United States by a delegation from the GOI and Indonesian civil society organizations. The visit will share the U.S. experience of bureaucratic reform across a range of federal and state level reform actors and institutions. The outcomes of this exchange will be used by the Bureaucratic Reform working group initiated by the Indonesian Ministry of Administrative Reform to make Indonesian administrative reform recommendations.
  • Supported through USAID, in conjunction with the Minister of Women’s Empowerment, a workshop in September on women’s political participation. Further enhanced joint work on women’s political participation by including in the Working Group a formal consultation with civil society organizations from both nations focused on the issue.
  • Committed to sending a high-level delegation to the November fifth Bali Democracy Forum (BDF). The BDF is the premiere regional event in which Indonesia encourages democracy through example and open dialogue.
  • Through USAID Indonesia, supported implementation of Indonesia’s Open Government Partnership National Action Plan via development of tools to monitor public services and promote government budget transparency. We will also support Indonesia’s regional and global leadership on open government issues as incoming OGP co-chair, commencing in September 2012.
  • Engaged in a two-way dialogue with Indonesian youth demonstrating the importance of youth voices to both the United States and Indonesia at the highest levels, and providing young Indonesians a chance to discuss key issues with senior U.S. and Indonesian policy-makers.
  • The United States and Indonesia worked together, in conjunction with other nations, to create the Equal Futures Partnership, a new multilateral network to advance women’s political participation and economic empowerment.

Environment and Climate Change Working Group:

The Working Group reviewed previous and upcoming opportunities for continued progress to protect the environment, including forests and marine resources, and to promote clean energy in a way that will grow the economy while mitigating climate change. During the past year, we have:

  • Welcomed the Program Implementation Agreement signing by Bappenas Vice Minister and MCC Vice President on September 19, a crucial step toward finalizing the details of the $600 million Compact, a major pillar of our bilateral cooperation. The Compact will invest in renewable energy, maternal and child nutrition, Indonesia’s efforts to modernize its public procurement system, and a $332 million “Green Prosperity” investment.
  • In support of Indonesia’s green growth objectives, agreed to adopt a work plan on Enhancing Capacity for Low-Emission Development Strategies (EC-LEDS).
  • Recognized the progress made by the Indonesian Climate Change Center in establishing itself as an effective convening entity that links scientific research to policy on strategic priorities in the climate change area.
  • Completed a second debt-for-nature swap in which the United States forgave $28.5 million in Indonesian debt in exchange for Indonesian commitments to protect forest areas and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation.
  • Supported sustainable forestry management in Indonesia through the USAID Indonesia Forest and Climate Support (IFACS) and Sustainable Landscapes Partnership (SLP), a $40 million forest conservation and management and climate mitigation initiative working to achieve a 50 percent reduction in the rate of forest degradation and loss in 10 million hectares.
  • Leveraged USAID assistance to raise an additional $88 million in private financing to generate 45 megawatts of power from alternative, renewable energy sources, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 1.8 million tons.
  • Welcomed Indonesia’s active participation in the Global Methane Initiative.
  • With an investment of $10 million, USAID leveraged $80 million of AusAid funds to bring water connections to millions of Indonesians.
  • Assisted the Indonesian government to establish 450,000 hectares of new marine protected areas (MPA), bringing the total of USG-assisted MPA managed to eight million hectares. The two sides committed to build on existing collaboration in the marine sector to launch new initiatives that promote food security, scientific research, foreign investment in Indonesia’s fisheries, and law enforcement.
  • Agreed to support the Indonesian Government’s Blue Economy vision, building upon existing programs such as the USAID Indonesia Marine and Climate Support (IMACS) and Marine Protected Areas Governance (MPAG) programs, and the MOU between NOAA and the Ministry of Fisheries.
  • Implemented an EPA-Ministry of Environment work plan with over a half dozen workshops on topics such as hazardous waste, environmental impact assessments, and air pollution.
  • Adopted a joint work plan to begin implementing our bilateral Science and Technology Agreement.

Energy Working Group:

The Energy Working Group meeting discussed pioneering energy cooperation between our countries. This includes:

  • U.S. investment in Indonesia’s renewable energy sector through the Millennium Challenge Corporation’s “Green Prosperity Project,” USAID’s Indonesia Clean Energy Development project, USAID’s Capacity for Indonesian Reduction of Carbon in Land Use and Energy Programs, and the U.S. Department of Energy’s project on Accelerating the Deployment of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Technologies in Indonesia.
  • U.S. hosting of an unconventional hydrocarbons trade mission in the United States for Indonesian government officials and company representatives. This highlights our shared effort to encourage U.S. investment and cutting-edge technology in Indonesia’s energy sector.
  • The fourth U.S. - Indonesia Energy Policy Dialogue, held in Surabaya in May 2012, which highlighted ways to develop Indonesia’s energy sector, including cooperation in unconventional gas and clean and renewable energy.
  • The second bilateral Energy Investment Roundtable in Jakarta in February 2012, which highlighted the critical link between an enabling investment climate and the shale gas revolution in the U.S. The Roundtable’s Joint Statement highlighted the need for effective stakeholder consultation as fundamental to growing future investments. The third Energy Investment Roundtable in 2013, to be held in the United States, will focus on new and renewable energy.

Trade and Investment Working Group:

This working group agreed that trade and investment are areas with significant potential and discussed ways to realize that potential. During the past year, we have:

  • Held a two-day meeting in July 2012 in Indonesia under the bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA) to discuss ways to further build bilateral trade and investment ties and address priority issues. The two sides agreed to intensify their engagement under the TIFA and reactivate working groups to resolve issues.
  • Committed to revive the working group on Intellectual Property under the TIFA to and create a work plan for Indonesia to strengthen protection and enforcement of Intellectual Property Rights.
  • Organized an executive trade mission to Indonesia and Vietnam, led by Under Secretary of Commerce Francisco Sanchez and joined by officials from U.S. Exim Bank, USTDA and OPIC. The mission, scheduled for November 11–17, 2012, will visit Indonesia and Vietnam and help participants gain firsthand market knowledge and establish business contacts with senior decision makers.
  • Committed with Indonesia to continuing to move forward toward direct Indonesia-U.S. commercial flights, with the latest step being a recently-completed U.S. Federal Aviation Authority Technical Review trip to Indonesia during the week of September 10.
  • Arranged for a Commercial Dialogue in New York on September 25 for officials and business representatives with the goal of broadening commercial engagement.
  • Welcomed the Indonesia Investor Day hosted by the Indonesian Embassy, with several U.S. and Indonesian co-sponsors, focusing on Indonesia’s rise as a new economic power, its business climate, and opportunities for investment.
  • Welcomed U.S. Exim Bank’s consideration to fund GE’s rail modernization project, valued at approximately $100 million for PT Kereta Api, the national railway carrier. This project is in addition to GE’s previous winning bid to sell in excess of $200 million of new locomotives to PT Kereta Api.
  • Focused on Indonesia in the Global Infrastructure Conference being held concurrently with the Joint Commission Meeting. Signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the Ministry of Industry to support greater cooperation on infrastructure and industrial development in priority sectors such as airports, seaports, power/energy, water/sanitation, and green industry development in priority regions such as Sumatra, East Java, and Kalimantan.
  • Welcomed Indonesia’s state-owned energy company Pertamina and Dallas-based and NYSE-listed Celanese Corporation agreement to advance the development of fuel ethanol projects in Indonesia. Such cooperation will help Indonesia meet its growing demand for affordable, locally-sourced transportation fuel.

People-to-People Ties:

Efforts by the six Working Groups are the basis of many of our accomplishments under the Comprehensive Partnership. However, this partnership also aims to create a thousand points of light through bilateral engagement that is both deep and broad and runs through government and non-government linkages. We have many additional U.S. government activities including:

  • As a sign of our long-term commitment to Indonesia’s education system and promoting people-to-people ties, Peace Corps is expanding in Indonesia. In addition to 63 volunteers currently in East Java, three volunteers have been placed in West Java. Next year, we plan 40 new placements in East Java and 20 in West Java.
  • To expand access to banking services, through USAID, we are introducing the U.S. Mobile Money Partnership to help low-income populations without access to banks by facilitating cell phone transfers, and OPIC is launching a second $20 million credit facility to support local microfinance institutions.
  • Through the creation of the world’s first hi-tech cultural center @america in Jakarta, and by prioritizing cultural exchanges with Indonesians, the State Department has emphasized the importance of people-to-people ties under the U.S. – Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership. For the State Department’s new “Center Stage” initiative, three of the ten total performing arts groups are from Indonesia: Nan Jombang Dance Company from Padang, Papermoon Puppet Theatre from Yogyakarta, and Jogja Hip Hop Foundation, also from Yogyakarta. The three groups will tour the United States in fall 2012 to share their art and culture, and discover America through interactions with different communities. Indonesia is also one of 21 countries participating in the music exchange “OneBeat” in fall 2012. Puppeteer and percussionist Sri Joko Raharjo will introduce American audiences to the ancient Indonesian art of shadow puppetry.
  • In addition, the U.S. Embassy in Jakarta has sponsored several American performers and musicians to visit Indonesia, including Muslim Hip Hop bands Remarkable Current (2010) and Native Deen (2011 and 2012), Grammy-winner Oran Etkin (2012), New York-based Battery Dance Company (2011) and jazz legend Herbie Hancock (2011, courtesy UNESCO), among many others. In 2013 the State Department is sending the hip hop group “Audiopharmacy” to Indonesia for a tour as part of the “American Music Abroad” program. All of these initiatives demonstrate the USG’s commitment to increasing cultural exchanges and fostering better mutual understanding among the peoples of our two countries.

We also applaud many other efforts to promote people-to-people ties. For example:

  • DC United, the soccer club, is being purchased by an Indonesian owner, Erick Thohir, thereby building closer ties through sport and business.
  • Through an Indonesian Diaspora conference, held in Los Angeles in July, the Indonesian government highlighted linkages between our two people.
  • In July, U.S. and Indonesian academics and members of key think tanks exchanged views on top foreign policy topics. This conference, sponsored by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, helped to forge new partnerships amongst our peoples.
  • A delegation of interfaith leaders from both countries visited the Middle East to encourage faith-based, non-governmental dialogue between Israelis and Palestinians. The delegation also visited the United States and Indonesia, where they met with officials to discuss the findings of their trip. The delegation rejected the use of violence in the name of religion and called for religious leaders to play a role in ending the violence. The trip was followed up by a gathering of the Indonesian participants at @america to publicize the effort to the Indonesian people.

PRN: 2012/1469

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