Malaysia and Indonesia agree in principle on reciprocal green lane

Indonesian President Joko Widodo gestures while talking with Malaysian Prime Minister Muhyiddin Yassin during their meeting at the Presidential Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, February 5, 2021. - Reuters

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 6 (Bernama): Malaysia and Indonesia have agreed in principle to implement the reciprocal green lane (RGL) scheme or known in Indonesia as corridor travel arrangement, to enhance bilateral trade.

Foreign Affairs Ministry Secretary General Datuk Seri Muhammad Shahrul Ikram Yaakob said however that a follow-up was required to fine-tune the standard operating procedures (SOP) involved.

"A follow-up is necessary as far as Malaysia is concerned on tightening the existing SOP. The scheme will be implemented once Malaysian and Indonesian health authorities deem it appropriate,” he said in an interview via skype on Bernama TV ‘s noon bulletin, today.

He said the RGL is not open to all as it is only to facilitate travel for government officials and investors from both countries, and to enhance trade particularly in regard to high value dealers.

Muhammad Shahrul Ikram said this while commenting on the outcome of Prime Minister Tan Sri Muhyiddin Yassin’s one-day official visit to Indonesia for a four-eye meeting with President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) on Friday.

According to him, the two leaders also discussed palm oil and the discrimination against it.

"Indonesia and Malaysia are the biggest producers of palm oil where in the context of Malaysia we have 600,000 workers in the industry.

"It would be less effective if we don’t handle the discrimination issue jointly. So the two leaders have agreed to work together to strengthen existing platforms such as the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC),” he said.

He said the two leaders also discussed and agreed to jointly resolve environmental issues such as the haze.

Nonetheless, he stressed that although the leaders have reached a consensus, it did not mean the issues have already been resolved as follow-ups were still essential at ministerial and working committee levels.

Indonesia is Malaysia's ninth largest trading partner globally and the third largest among ASEAN countries.

In 2020, total trade reached RM66.17 billion (US$15.7 billion), while Malaysia's total investment in Indonesia is the second largest in the republic at US$1.04 billion. - Bernama

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