French President Francois Hollande paid a state visit to Indonesia on 29 March to meet Indonesian President Joko Widodo and engage in discussion to reinforce the bilateral relationship between the two countries.
President Jokowi welcomed President Hollande in front of the Merdeka Palace on Wednesday morning. Both Heads of State agreed that the meeting was an important historical milestone, given the fact that it has been a while since the last time French President visited Indonesia - it was President Francois Mitterand’s visit in 1986. After the welcome ceremony in the palace, the two presidents discussed many important issues, from politics and economy to international peacemaking.
The visit signified a stronger partnership between the two countries, resulting in fruitful cooperation in different sectors. In terms of economy, President Hollande, who also brought 40 businessmen along with him, committed to new investment worth of 2,6 billion dollars. President Jokowi happily welcomed a renewed focus on bilateral relations, including cooperation in the fields of maritime and creative economy. Both Presidents also witnessed the signing of five MoUs covering defense, sustainable urban development, research, technology and tourism.
As both countries have a similar history as the victim of terrorism acts over the past three years, President Jokowi and Hollande agreed to collaborate in fighting terrorism by promoting the spirit of tolerance. They also share the same view to solve the Israeli-Palestinian conflict through the concept of a two-state solution. As world peacekeepers, Indonesia and France agreed to enhance cooperation, including increasing the capacity of French language for Indonesian troops.
In the afternoon, President Hollande was scheduled to attend French-Indonesian Bilateral Meeting: The Creative Economy and Promotion of the Culture Industry in the Digital Age. Taking place at Harris Vertu Harmoni, the meeting was initiated by the French Institute of Indonesia (IFI) and the Embassy of France to Indonesia in collaboration with Badan Ekonomi Kreatif (BEKRAF). Aimed to bring together creative actors of the two countries especially in the field of fashion, production, and distribution of film and digital industry, the event was attended by various French and Indonesian creative icons including actresses Catherine Deneuve and Christine Hakim, fashion designers Livia Stoianova and Sebastian Gunawan as well as an award-winning filmmaker Mouly Surya and French film producer Isabelle Glachant.
The conference concluded with the signing of three cooperation agreements in the creative economy sector. The first one was the signatory to the Film Cultivation Agreement between French National Center of Cinematography and the Moving Image (CNC) and BEKRAF. As an extension of the French-Indonesian Technical and Cultural Cooperation Agreement from 20 September, 1969, the two countries agreed to take over the competence and exchange of good governance in the field of cinema, paying particular attention to the preservation of cinematographic heritage, the spread of cinematographic works of both countries, as well as the protection of intellectual property rights.
Second was an agreement signing between the Indonesian Tourism Development Corporation (ITDC) and the Cabourg Romantic Film Festival, an annual festival initiated by journalist Gonzague Saint Bris. Romantic Cabourg Film Festival and ITDC Bali agreed to build Lovewalk or a love bridge containing the message of love and peace in Nusa Dua, Bali that will be ready for the inaugural edition of the Asia Pacific Film Festival in November 2017. The last one was the signing of the Partnership Agreement between the start-up incubators Gaité Lyrique and Indonesia Kreavi.