INDONESIA-SINGAPORE LEADERS RETREAT: President Jokowi to Meet PM Lee in Bintan on Jan 25

Presiden Jokowi PM Lee
Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong and Indonesian President Joko Widodo at a Leaders’ Retreat on Oct 8, 2019. (Photo: TODAY/Najeer Yusof Muallim)

Batam ( – The next Indonesia-Singapore Leaders Retreat will be held on Tuesday, January 25 2022. President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister (PM) Lee Hsien Loong are scheduled to meet in Bintan, Riau Islands.

The annual routine meeting is almost certain based on a tentative schedule obtained by, Sunday 23 January 2022. President Jokowi will first arrive in Bintan today, Monday 24 January 2022.

The next day the Leaders Retreat will be held which will be a meeting between President Jokowi and PM Lee. The meeting location for the two top brass took place at The Sanchaya Bintan.

The bilateral meeting started at 11 AM and was followed by the signing of the cooperation document. Then at 12:45 a joint press conference will be held.

A number of ministers accompanied President Jokowi during the bilateral meeting session. They are Coordinating Minister for the Economy Airlangga Hartarto, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Panjaitan, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi, Minister of State Secretary Pratikno, Minister of Defense Prabowo Subianto, Minister of Law and Human Rights Yassona H Laoly and Minister of Transportation Budi Karya Sumadi.

Besides being confirmed based on a tentative schedule, this year’s Leaders Retreat was also confirmed by media in Singapore last week.

“In response to media queries, the Press Secretary to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong confirmed that Mr Lee will be visiting Bintan, Indonesia, on Jan 25 for the Singapore-Indonesia Leaders’ Retreat, hosted by Indonesian President Joko Widodo,”  the PMO was quoted as saying by Channel News Asia.

“The leaders will take stock of progress made on bilateral cooperation and explore ways to further deepen engagement in key areas of mutual interest.”

President Joko Widodo last met Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong on October 8, 2019 for the annual retreat traditionally held to foster bilateral relations. They have not had a retreat since due to COVID-19.

When interviewed by CNA in November last year, Mr Widodo said that he will discuss with Mr Lee how and when the two countries can reopen borders.

“We will discuss a travel corridor arrangement which we hope can be opened, but not everywhere in Indonesia,” he said.

“Maybe, (between) Bintan and Singapore, or Bali and Singapore, Jakarta and Singapore, for example. But again, all these have to be gradual,” said Mr Widodo at that time.

At a press conference earlier on Thursday last week, the Director of Southeast Asia at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Mirza Nurhidayat, the Leaders Retreat meeting was a form of cooperation between the two countries.

“Things related to increasing bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and Singapore will be discussed,” he said.

Author: Candra Gunawan

Also Read: TRAVEL BUBBLE: Batam-Bintan Ready for Reopening Tourism with Singapore