Indonesia reveals TPP intentions at White House meeting

President Widodo announces country will seek to join pact; cancels rest of US trip due to country's emergency smog situation

Indonesia reveals TPP intentions at White House meeting

World Bulletin / News Desk

Indonesia's president brought his United States trip to a sudden halt Tuesday, but stayed long enough to anounce that the country would seek to join Southeast Asian neighbors in a regional trade pact with the U.S.

The Jakarta Globe reported that Joko Widodo had told U.S. President Barack Obama that he would be returning home to help tackle an emergency haze situation.

A trip to Washington will continue as planned, but Widodo will skip a stop in San Francisco and fly home on Tuesday afternoon. 

Smoke from forest fires in Sumatra and Indonesian Borneo has been causing havoc for more than three months, spreading a thick, smoky haze over the region.

"I will cancel my trip to San Francisco because there are many complaints from citizens," Widodo was quoted as saying by Antara News.

"I will immediately travel to Palangkaraya, Central Kalimantan, or Palembang, South Sumatra, to handle support for victims, including shelter and health services."

He had planned to visit Google and Facebook headquarters, and have dinner with Apple's CEO Tim Cook.

The Indonesian cabinet's official Twitter account announced that other ministers would still undertake the trip.

A statement issued by the Indonesian president's office said that Widodo had told Obama that Indonesia would apply to join the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

“Indonesia is an open economy and with a population of 250 million, we are the largest economy in Southeast Asia,” Widodo was quoted as saying.

He underlined the country's intention to join the TPP, broadening its markets to the 12 countries that are currently party to the agreement – including Australia, Canada, Japan, Mexico, Vietnam and the U.S.

Obama -- who lived in Indonesia for nearly five years as a child -- said Widodo's visit was important for relations between two of the world's biggest democracies.

The two leaders are reported to have discussed digital cooperation, climate change, open and transparent governments, corruption eradication, security, climate change and counterterrorism against groups such as Daesh.

Indonesia is the world's most populous Muslim country.

Last Mod: 27 Ekim 2015, 11:56
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