In November 2010, Presidents Obama and Yudhoyono launched the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership to enhance cooperation between the world’s second and third largest democracies.
The Comprehensive Partnership’s annual Joint Commission Meeting (JCM) is chaired by the Indonesian Foreign Minister and U.S. Secretary of State, with six component working groups, explained below. In addition to work in these six areas, the Comprehensive Partnership has resulted in a significant increase in cooperation across a wide range of issues, including health, science, technology, and entrepreneurship.
The Democracy and Civil Society Working Group negotiated a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on South-South and Triangular Cooperation (SSTC) that will enhance cooperation in third countries on issues such as democratic institution building, good governance, and disaster preparedness. In October 2013, Indonesia will become the lead Chair of the Open Government Partnership (OGP) Steering Committee.We are supporting implementation of Indonesia’s OGP National Action Plan, expansion of the OGP, and will work to assist Burma in becoming eligible for OGP by 2016. The Working Group’s activities also have included interfaith dialogue; youth engagement; exchanges on bureaucratic reform, media, rule of law, parliamentary and electoral processes; women’s economic and political empowerment; and formal consultations with civil society.
Under the Education Working Group, USAID’s Higher Education Partnership expans opportunities for bilateral study and research exchanges, strengthens university partnerships, and enhances the quality of education. The Fulbright program is among the largest in the world and the Peace Corps return in 2010,after a 45-year hiatus, is a sign of our long-term commitment to Indonesia’s education system and people-to-people ties. Under USAID’s PRIORITAS program, the United States is also working to strengthen basic education at the early grade levels.
The Security Working Groupis advancing Indonesia’s defense modernization efforts in order to enhance Indonesia’s role in regional and global security. These efforts include the transfer of Excess Defense Article (EDA) F-16s, and the initiation of Foreign Military Sales (FMS) cases for Maverick missiles and other essential equipment to meet Indonesian defense requirements. In August, Indonesia agreed to purchase Apache helicopters worth $720 million. The United States and Indonesia also initiated a Defense Planning Dialogue to strengthen bilateral defense cooperation, exchange best practices for organizing and managing the defense sector, and support Indonesian-led reform efforts.
The Environment and Climate Working Group has made progress in institutionalizing Indonesia’s Climate Change Center to ensure the core role of science in environmental policymaking. In 2011, Indonesiaand the United States completed the second debt-for-nature swap, in which the United States forgave $28.5 million in debt in exchange for Indonesian commitments to protect forest areas and reduce greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. Under the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC)’s Green Prosperity Project, two priority districts were identified for environmental impact assessments to advance sustainable land use and forest management practices.
Under the Energy Working Group, the United States and Indonesia cooperate to promote clean energy technologies and policies to help meet Indonesia’s growing energy demands, improve energy access, and reduce the growth in Indonesia’s energy-sector greenhouse gas emissions. This cooperation includes the MCC’s Green Prosperity Project, USAID’s Indonesia Clean Energy Development (ICED) project, project funding through the U.S. Trade and Development Agency’s (USTDA) Indonesia Geothermal Development Initiative, and the Department of Energy’s (DOE) Sustainable Energy for Remote Indonesia Grids (SERIG) project.
The United States and Indonesia are working together under the Trade and Investment Working Group to remove existing barriers to trade and investment, building on the 1996 bilateral Trade and Investment Framework Agreement (TIFA). Highlights include the establishment of a Commercial Dialogue, USTDA infrastructure development programming, and successful commercial advocacy that resulted in an agreement by Indonesia’s Lion Air to purchase more than 200 Boeing 737-max airplanes valued at $22.4 billion, the largest commercial aircraft sale in Boeing’s history, as well as two locomotive deals valued at more than $400 million.Two-way goods trade exceeded$26 billion in 2012.