VP: Indonesia and Africa Continue to Work Together
Vice President Jusuf Kalla said that Indonesia and Africa have a long history that was initiated by the organization of the Asian-African Conference (KAA) in Bandung, 1955. The spirit of cooperation between Indonesia and Africa continues, marked by 50 and 60 years anniversary of KAA in 2005 and 2015.
Indonesia and Africa continue to work together to promote economic cooperation. Indonesia also sees Africa as a strategic partner in foreign policy, the Vice President said in his remarks at the opening of the first Indonesia-Africa Forum 2018 (IAF 2018) at Nusa Dua Convention Center, Bali, on Tuesday (10/4).
The Vice President compares African countries to Wakanda Country in Black Panther movie which has unexplored potential and resources and are not widely known by the international community.
Just like Africa, Indonesia, as an emerging economy in Asia, Southeast Asia’s largest economy, as well as a G-20 member, is now developing infrastructure to boost economic growth.
The Vice President also encouraged the continuation of South-South Program and Indonesia-Africa Triangular Cooperation which can explore the potential for future economic cooperation.
He also said that trade value between Indonesia and Africa continues to rise. Recently in 2017, the trade value between Indonesia and Africa increased by 15% compared to the previous year.
The Vice President believes that the trade value still has great potential to continue to grow considering that African countries still need export goods from Indonesia such as palm oil, motorcycles, and mass transportation, in addition to existing ones such as Indomie.
These efforts need to be supported by cooperation of export policy, connectivity, trade agreement, and infrastructure development, the Vice President said.
Before officially opening the IAF 2018, Vice President Jusuf Kalla advised to continue the hard work, and collective agreements that have been made together and they should be followed up for the sake of the welfare of Indonesia and Africa.
Let us join hands in strengthening the relations between Indonesia and Africa and together make a just and prosperous world, the Vice President concluded.
In the meantime, Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi said, the IAF is a manifestation of the commitment of Indonesia and African countries to move forward and prosper together, as well as to become the first forum in which Africa and Indonesia can meet and discuss a concrete cooperation involving various stakeholders.
Retno expressed her hope that this IAF activity can be utilized to the maximum extent possible to explore more potential cooperation for Indonesia and Africa to materialize common prosperity. This time for Africa, the Minister said.
The 2018 IAF, featuring a theme “Developing Sustainable Economic and Investment Cooperation”, was attended by more than 500 participants including 240 delegates from 46 African countries, International Organizations and Development Partners.
Meanwhile from Indonesia, about 200 people from government institutions, private sector, as well as business people attended this Forum. Also joining the event were Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs, Minister of Trade, and Minister of Foreign Affairs.
The export value of Indonesia-Africa trade in 2017 reached US $ 4.86 billion whereas the import value reached US $ 3.97 billion. In addition to that, Indonesias trade balance surplus reached US $ 887.28 million and the trend increased by 15.25 percent since 2016.
Indonesia’s main export commodities to Africa include palm oil, processed food and beverages, soaps, paper, garment, motorcycles and spare parts. Meanwhile, Indonesia’s main import commodities from Africa are petroleum, cotton, cocoa beans, pulp, and chemical for fertilizers and industries. (Dit. Infomed Kemlu/ES) (GWH/MMB/Naster)