Indonesia’s President Joko Widodo will make his first official visit to Australia this month for the G20 summit, where he has been invited to share his experiences as a reformist city leader.
Mr Joko’s attendance at the Brisbane forum had not been confirmed although he had agreed to participate in the forerunning APEC and ASEAN forums.
Indonesian foreign ministry spokesman Michael Tene says he has decided to attend the Brisbane meeting as well.
“It’s a forum where the majority of the biggest economies around the world are there, the forum which has the potential to address the global economic issues as well as other issues that affect the global community,” he said on Wednesday.
“Indonesia has been participating for quite some time, since the beginning, of the G20.
“It’s an appropriate forum for Indonesia to ensure that interests with regards to global efforts to reform the … global economy, efforts to strengthen and enhance the resilience of the global economy, can be addressed in line with the national interests.”
This month’s global summits will be Mr Joko’s debut on the world stage. Until his election in July, he was the popular governor of Jakarta.
Prior to that, his leadership of his hometown Solo, a smaller city in Java, saw him win runner-up for the world’s best mayor.
His reputation at city level for cleaning up corruption, removing bureaucratic hurdles and being willing to tackle complex issues propelled him to become Indonesia’s first president without links to the traditional elite or military.
Foreign ministry director Toferry Soetikno said Mr Joko had been asked to share his experiences in reforming the cities of Solo and Jakarta with G20 leaders.
He was also ready to discuss infrastructure, a major challenge for Indonesia and one Mr Joko is particularly keen to tackle.
“Mr President was asked to share his experiences in reforming in Solo and Jakarta … and also the future steps for Indonesia,” Mr Soetikno said.
“The topic of economic reforms fits very well with the president’s agenda.”
Mr Joko has promised to boost Indonesia’s annual economic growth to seven per cent, but faces obstacles in the form of poor infrastructure, red tape and a quarrelsome legislature.
Growth slowed to five per cent in the third quarter from a year earlier, its slowest in five years.
The Australian visit will be for the G20 summit only and Mr Joko has no fixed plans for bilateral meetings, his spokesmen said.
Prime Minister Tony Abbott attended Mr Joko’s October 20 inauguration and afterwards they met for about 30 minutes.
Mr Joko – who has signalled he intends being stricter about Indonesian sovereignty – encouraged Mr Abbott to keep open lines of communication.