19 Jun 2014

Indonesia to strengthen links with Fiji's PIDF

5:37 pm on 19 June 2014

The Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono says Indonesia will intensify its involvement with the Pacific Islands Development Forum.

The president is the keynote speaker at the second gathering of the forum taking place in Nadi.

President Yudhoyono says the PIDF's efforts to achieve a sustainable Pacific society are similar to his approach to development.

He told the forum participants Indonesia's priority was to conserve and enhance fisheries and marine resources and link up over marine protected areas.

He also said Indonesia would commit $US20m over the next five years to Pacific Island countries to deal with challenges like disasters and climate change.

The president says Indonesia wants to triple trade with the PIDF countries to a billion dollars over the coming years.

On the diplomatic front, President Yudhoyono says Indoneisa wanted to capitalise on its links with PIDF countries.

He says it is in Indonesia's best interests to act as a bridge between the countries of the Pacific and Indian Oceans and Indonesia supports Papua New Guinea as host and chair of APEC in 2018.

The president said a new cold war was a potential reality and he said Indonesia would continue to support the role of small, developing countries in helping maintain international peace and security.