Fri, 20 Aug 2010

Tanjungpinang, Riau Islands (ANTARA News) - Singapore will increase its cooperation with the Indonesian province of Riau Islands particularly the Bintan, Batam and Karimun free trade zones, Singapore minister Zainul Abidin Rasheed said.

"So far economic cooperation between Singapore and Indonesia, Riau Islands in particular have been very good and we will further increase it particularly in the Batam, Bintan and Karimun Free Trade Zone," the Senior Minister of State of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs said after breaking the fast with Riau Islands governor HM Sani here on Thursday.

Rasheed said the economic cooperation has gone well particulary in the industrial field in Batam, with non-governmental organizations and also in the field of training and education.

"Following the meeting between President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Singapore Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong to discuss seven economic cooperation sectors needed improvement recently it is hoped the cooperation could be implemented well," he said.

He said the cooperation should not be confined to economy only but must also include social, education and cultural coopertion.

"It is hoped the good relations that we have developed with Riau Islands in the historical and cultural fields could be further increased," he said.

He said with HM Sani at the helm he believed the cooperation so far could be further increased for economic progress and other kinds of cooperation.

"We have known Sani long and we hoped the cooperation with Riau Islands would be closer and more areas could be covered for the cooperation," he said.

Riau Islands is located very close to Singapore. It just takes around 30 minutes by ferry from Batam to Singapore. (*)