Less than a year ago, in November 2010, U.S. President Barack Obama and Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono launched the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership.
The partnership, which is designed to guide U.S.-Indonesian relations for the next decade, is a long-term commitment to elevate bilateral relations by improving consultation and cooperation on key bilateral, regional, and global issues of importance to both nations.
The Comprehensive Partnership aims to expand educational exchanges; encourage greater trade and investment cooperation; support capacity to meet climate change goals; enhance energy security; promote good governance and respect for human rights; and increase security cooperation, including in the fight against terrorism, trans-national drug syndicates, and trafficking in persons.
In late July, U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Indonesian Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa chaired the second meeting of the U.S.-Indonesia Joint Commission, which is responsible for overseeing implementation of the Comprehensive Partnership. The two reviewed progress achieved by the six working groups under the three pillars of the Partnership — that is, in the areas of political and security cooperation; economic and development cooperation; and cooperation in socio-cultural, educational, science and technology affairs.
A strong relationship between the United States and Indonesia is good not only for the two countries and their people, but also for the East Asia and Pacific region as a whole. Both countries share the common goal of maintaining security and stability in the region. And, as the world’s second and third largest democracy, both countries share a commitment to democratic principles and to fostering a more peaceful and prosperous world.
Moreover, the United States has important economic, commercial, and security interests in Indonesia. Indonesia, too, can benefit from increasing engagement with the United States.
For example, although it is the largest economy in the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, but in 2010 trade with the United States was just over 20 billion dollars. For comparison, U.S. conducted 40 billion's worth of trade with Indonesia's smaller neighbor, Malaysia.
"This is a very important relationship, one that the United States highly values, and that we are deeply invested in," said Secretary of State Clinton. "And I think, based on the progress we have made in a very short period of time, there is a tremendous potential for future cooperation."