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U.S., Indonesia Agree To Boost Trade, Investment Links

Two-way trade totaled $16.5 billion last year.

The U.S. and Indonesia agreed to set up working groups to develop "specific initiatives" in areas such as intellectual property rights, agricultural and industrial goods, services and investment, said a statement from the office of U.S. Trade Representative Susan Schwab last week.

Indonesia, Southeast Asia's largest nation, is the 31st largest trading partner of the United States. Two-way trade totaled $16.5 billion last year, a 9.3% increase over 2005. U.S. foreign direct investment in Indonesia hit nearly $10 billion in 2005, the latest data available.

The two ministers also discussed joint efforts to advance integration of the 10 nations of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) -- Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.

Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2007

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