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The state visit of French President François Hollande to Indonesia, part of his Southeast Asian tour and the first visit to Indonesia by a French president since François Mitterrand in 1986, resulted in several agreements. On Wednesday (29/03) Hollande met Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Jakarta with the aim to strengthen bilateral relations between both nations. Hollande was accompanied by French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, Digital Sector and Innovation Minister Christophe Sirugue, parliament members and 40 business representatives.
During the visit, the French delegation signed USD $2.6 billion worth of investment commitments in three sectors: energy (USD $1 billion), infrastructure, transportation and tourism (USD $1.1 billion), and in the retail sector (USD $500 million). Agreements were not only made with state-owned enterprises (for example construction company Wijaya Karya and electricity supplier Perusahaan Listrik Negara) but also with Indonesia's private sector (including the Sinar Mas Group and the Barito Group).
Joko Widodo stated after his meeting with Hollande that both nations will also boost cooperation in two new sectors: maritime affairs and the creative economy. This will include a joined battle against illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing. With regard to the creative economy, both nations will cooperate in the fields of cinematography, fashion and digital economy.
Furthermore, the French Development Agency (AFD) and Royal Lestari Utama (RLU), an Indonesian-based sustainable natural rubber company, will undertake joint social and environmental studies in an effort to develop sustainable natural rubber on various plantations around Indonesia.
In terms of foreign direct investment (FDI), France is a growing investor in Indonesia. While in 2010 France only invested a total of USD $3.34 million in Indonesia (in 57 projects), the figure rose to USD $109 million (in 424 projects) in 2016. Meanwhile, trade between Indonesia and France totaled more than USD $2 billion in 2016.
During the visit Hollande praised Indonesia for maintaining a stable democracy and tolerant society amid great religious and ethnic diversity.