Cooperation between Indonesia and New Zealand, especially relations between the people of both nations, still needs to be further explored, former Indonesian ambassador to New Zealand Amris Hassan stated.
"Many areas can be explored by the younger generation, for instance, the digital industry, as New Zealand is very well-known in this field," Hassan noted during the appointment of the new board of Indonesia-New Zealand Friendship Council in Jakarta on Monday.
Sustainable agriculture, creative economy, advertising, geothermal, and disaster management are also fields that are favored by New Zealand for which cooperation with Indonesia can be forged.
As a country that is equally vulnerable to disasters due to being geographically located in the ring of fire region, Indonesia has gained a lot of knowledge on disaster mitigation from New Zealand.
Indonesia has "borrowed" New Zealand earthquake-resistant building standards since 1975, thereby becoming an example of important cooperation in the field of disaster mitigation.
"New Zealand is very capable of managing disasters through the development of technology," Hassan, who recently handed over the chairmanship of the Indonesia-New Zealand Friendship Council to Indradi Soemardjan, noted.
Under the new management, Hassan expressed hope that the organizational role, formed since the past eight years, will further strengthen relations and cooperation between the people of Indonesia and New Zealand through rejuvenation of the vision and mission, as well as younger members.
"There is still a lot of space for cooperation that needs to be filled both at the government and non-formal levels. This organization can bridge the gap," he stated.
Chairman of the Indonesia-New Zealand Friendship Council Indradi Soemardjan said he will work to encourage cooperation between the two countries in various fields, ranging from agriculture to technology.
In fact, he is ready to welcome a New Zealand startup delegation next week that will study the course of startup businesses in the country.
"They want to see how Indonesia manages our startup. Later, they will also visit the Go-Jek office," Soemardjan stated.
Soemardjan is a senior executive, who is active and enjoys sound relations with the business community in the ASEAN and New Zealand.
In addition to serving as director of PT Javanero and treasurer for the Sustainable Coffee Platform of Indonesia, he is also on the Global Advisory Board of Agrea LEAF of the Philippines and the New Zealand Institute Advisory Group at the University of Auckland.
Soemardjan was selected as a participant in the ASEAN Young Business Leader Innitiative in 2014, a program funded by New Zealand.
New Zealand Ambassador to Indonesia Trevor Matheson praised the leadership and contributions of Hassan during his eight-year tenure as chairman of the council and welcomed the appointment of Soemardjan to carry forward the role of Hassan.
"The appointment of a new chairman is a good opportunity for the business sector to engage more deeply," Ambassador Matheson noted.
The Indonesia-New Zealand Friendship Council has helped establish cooperation between private companies and promote business interests between the two countries.
The New Zealand Embassy is optimistic of working more closely with the council to improve bilateral trade and investment relations.
The bilateral relations between Indonesia and New Zealand have been upgraded to the level of comprehensive partnership, which was agreed upon during the visit of Indonesian President Joko Widodo to Wellington and at the meeting with New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern in March 2018. (ANTARA)