Printer-friendly versionPrinter-friendly version
Send to friend: 

Jakarta, Sept 18 (ANTARA) - The Indonesian and Australian governments have agreed to step up cooperation in military and defense industries as well as security for the stability of the Asia Pacific region.
The agreement was reached at a meeting between Indonesian minister of defense Juwono Sudarsono and his Australian counterpart Joel Fitzgibbon here on Thursday.
Juwono said he hoped the cooperation would reduce the country's dependency for main equipment of its weapon system on foreign countries.
"Right now 70 percent of the equipment is acquired from abroad and only 30 percent could be acquired at home. In the future the ratio must change," he said.
He said because of the limited funds available the government could not as yet increase the quantity of the main equipment but could only conduct upgrading on the existing equipment to meet technological progress.
So, he said, although Indonesia could not equal other neighbouring countries like Australia, Malaysia and Singapore in terms of quantity its equipment was expected to be able to equalize those of the countries in terms of technology.
In view of that he said he hoped defense indutries in the country such as PT Pindd, PT Dirgantara Indonesia, PT Dahana and others could cooperate with defense industries from Australia so that in the next ten years' time following improvement in the national economic condition Indonesia could improve and increase the equipment.
Australian defense minister Firzgibbon meanwhile said Australia and Indonesia had agreed to jointly materialize cooperation in the fields of military industry, science and technology in addition to cooperation in the fields of education, exercises and officer exchange.
He said Australia and Indonesia also would make efforts to increase several cooperation projects to improve the capability of the Indonesian defense forces (TNI) and the role of the country's defense ministry.
Martime security

On the occasion Fitzgibbon also stated that Australia would continue to hold a dialogue with its partners namely countries in the Asia Pacific region to advise them to keep safeguarding security of the region including its maritime security.
He said the Asia Pacific region is very important for Australia considering that its security was no longer a regional matter but has become a global issue in line with increasing population and economic growth in the region.
The dialogue with countries in the Asia Pacific including Indonesia had become a main agenda for Australia, he said, adding that the Australian prime minister had called for routine dialogues with the countries to maintain understanding and stability in the region.
From Jakarta Fitzgibbon will leave for Dili, East Timor, to meet with a number of military officials in that country and visit the military training ground in Metinano. ***5***