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Taiwan expects stronger ties with trading partner Indonesia: MOFA

TAIPEI -- Taiwan enjoys close relations with Indonesia and expects to further strengthen ties between the two countries, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MOFA) said Sunday.

Indonesia is Taiwan's 10th-largest trade partner, with annual two-way trade volume reaching US$12.3 billion each year, while Taiwan is the Southeast Asian nation's ninth-largest investor, with total investments amounting to US$15.3 billion, said ministry spokeswoman Anna Kao.

Taiwan and Indonesia have signed several agreements, including on the avoidance of double taxation and the prevention of income tax evasion, as well as for protection of investments and agricultural technology cooperation, she added.

“In the future, Taiwan will continue strengthening bilateral relations with Indonesia on its established base,” Kao said, after Indonesian president-elect Joko Widodo said in an interview with CNA that he hoped for further cooperation with Taiwan.

Kao also expressed her pleasure over announced plans by Joko to invite Taiwanese business tycoon Terry Gou, who vowed to invest more than US$1 billion in Jakarta over a five-year period, to attend his inauguration.

Joko, 53, who is set to take office on Oct. 20 after winning the July 9 presidential election with 53.15 percent of the ballots, praised the solid foundation of Taiwan's manufacturing sector, saying that Indonesia will improve its infrastructure and government efficiency in a bid to attract Taiwanese investments.

In addition, he thanked Taiwan, during the interview, for its friendly treatment of Indonesian workers in Taiwan and urged Taiwanese to visit and invest in his country.

He noted that many Indonesian workers are employed in Taiwan, describing such employment as “the basis for our cooperation.”

Indonesia is Taiwan's largest source of migrant workers, with 190,000 Indonesian laborers out of 450,000 foreign workers, according to statistics provided by Taiwan's Ministry of Labor.

Labor Minister Chen Hsiung-wen also praised the hard work of Indonesian workers in Taiwan, hoping the two countries can continue their wide-ranging cooperation with each other.

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