Jakarta — President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and his Chilean counterpart, President Michelle Bachelet, who is in Jakarta for a two-day state visit, witnessed the signing of two agreements at the Merdeka Palace on Friday (12/05). One of the agreements is on mutual visa exemptions for diplomatic passport holders and the other is a joint ministerial statement on negotiations for a Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA) between the countries. The agreements are seen to strengthen ties between the two countries. “We hope that the negotiations on CEPA, especially in the field of trade and goods, could be concluded this year,” said Jokowi. He was speaking during a joint press conference with Bachelet after holding a one-hour bilateral meeting with the Chilean President at the palace. Jokowi said Friday’s bilateral discussion with Bachelet had focused mainly on efforts to improve cooperation on trade and investment between the two countries. He said Bachelet’s visit came at the right time, because Indonesia was currently stepping up efforts to increase investment cooperation with South American countries, including Chile. Jokowi said Indonesia and Chile also agreed on bilateral cooperation in field of fisheries and strategic industries as well as agriculture. After a two year delay, Indonesia resumed negotiations with Chile on the CEPA with a view to further penetrate markets of Latin American, which in the past have played a minor role for Indonesian businesses. Indonesia and Chile are members of the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) and the Forum for the East Asia-Latin America Cooperation (FEALAC). Trade between the two countries amounted to US$227 million in 2016. Exports from Indonesia declined by 2.4 percent to US$143.81 million, while Chilean exports decreased by more than 50 percent to US$83.34 million.