Jakarta  (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi will have a bilateral meeting with her Papua New Guinea (PNG) counterpart Rimbink Pato on Thursday (July 19) afternoon to discuss several border issues.

    "PNG is one of Indonesia`s close neighbors; it is natural that both countries have a high intensity of relationships. PNG is not only a big country in terms of size but also in terms of economy," Foreign Ministry`s spokesperson Arrmanatha Nasir told journalists during a press briefing in Jakarta on Wednesday.

    The management of Indonesia-PNG border regions is among topics that will be discussed between the two ministers, in addition to the establishment of Indonesia-PNG joint border committee.

    "We have a fairly long border area with PNG, and we are aware of the economic potential that can be developed for the welfare of people living in the border area," Nasir added.

    In addition to discussing border issues, Marsudi and Pato will also talk about bilateral economic cooperation, especially efforts to improve trade and investment.

    The value of RI-PNG bilateral trade in 2017 reached US$208.89 million, increasing from $179.2 million in 2016.

   "The two foreign ministers expressed concerns for (strengthening) trade cooperation, including efforts to improve the interaction between businessmen of both countries," Nasir concluded.