U.S. strengthens economic, security cooperation with Indonesia’s Riau Islands

On March 29 and 30, U.S. Ambassador to Indonesia Sung Y. Kim visited Batam and Natuna, Riau Islands, to engage with Indonesian partners and highlight opportunities for increased bilateral cooperation in economic and security sectors in the province.

In Batam, Kim met with Riau Islands Governor Ansar Ahmad and U.S. companies to discuss the local business climate and the U.S. government’s plans for an executive-led Advanced Manufacturing Business Development Mission to Indonesia, Singapore, and Japan. Delegates of the mission will include representatives from U.S companies that provide advanced manufacturing products and systems.

Kim noted that the United States will continue working with the Riau Islands to advance economic growth and prosperity in the province. “We appreciate the support from the Riau Islands government for the U.S. businesses that are contributing to the local economy, and our productive discussion about opportunities to increase collaboration,” he said.

In Batam, Kim visited the Maritime Security Agency (Bakamla) maritime training center site with Bakamla Head Vice Adm. Aan Kurnia. In one example of strong U.S.-Indonesia maritime security cooperation, the U.S. government has committed more than US$3.5 million in building male and female barracks, a dining galley, classrooms, offices, and a law enforcement training lab.

The Ambassador also met with the TNI Joint Region 1 Commander, Vice Admiral Muhammad Ali. They discussed several regional concerns affecting security in the Riau islands and Sumatra. Ali provided insight into the TNI Navy’s recent decision to move a major combat command headquarters to Natuna to better respond to threats in the Natuna Sea.

In Natuna, Kim was welcomed by the Vice Regent of Natuna. He had the opportunity to hear directly from prominent academics about their perspective on environment preservation, economy and security, as well as their visions for this strategically located region.

Photo credit: State Dept. / Budi Sudarmo.  U.S. Ambassador Sung Y. Kim (left) met with Riau Islands Governor Ansar Ahmad, Tuesday, March 29.

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