"Indonesia is currently the largest presidential democracy in the world, with an electoral vote of 81% or 153 million in the general election which lasted only 5 hours on 17 April 2019 to elect the President and Vice President and 20,000 candidates for legislative" , said the Indonesian Ambassador to the United States, Mahendra Siregar to start the Indonesia Luncheon event which was attended by more than 50 entrepreneurs in Des Moines, the capital of Iowa state, United States (6/5)

"In my opinion it is not easy to maintain democracy in a turbulent situation like now. But Indonesia managed to show it to the international community in the recent elections with a high level of participation, which has never happened before," continued Ambassador Mahendra Siregar.

"Indonesia is one of the largest economies in the world and is a member of the G-20 with a total GDP of US $ 1.1 trillion, the 16th largest in the world, with a purchasing power of US $ 4 trillion and has a demographic dividend or productive age population which continues to increase ", Ambassador Mahendra Siregar added.

"Indonesia also shows impressive economic achievements and has managed to maintain a vibrant economy and achieve infrastructure development outside Java which is the priority of the Indonesian government at this time, in addition to education and health. In the past 6 years economic growth has stabilized, ranging from 5.1% - 5.2% per year, which will continue in the future. Likewise with a low inflation rate of 3% in recent years and is expected to be even lower, and succeed in reducing the poverty rate by 9%, "said the Ambassador Siregar.

Regarding the relations between the two countries, Ambassador Mahendra Siregar said that Indonesia and the United States had very strong and very stable strategic relations. This year diplomatic relations between the two countries reached the age of 70 years, which officially took place since December 28, 1949, where the United States was one of the main countries supporting the independence of the Republic of Indonesia.

"Indonesia and the United States have good strategic relations in the political and defense fields, but still need to be improved in the trade and investment sector. There is great potential in the agriculture and horticulture sector and derivative industries which can be further developed by both parties. in 2018 it reached US $ 30 billion, and I encouraged businessmen from both countries to build more strategic relationships, not only between B to B and company to company, but to build relationships in a broader direction as a group to utilize the various potentials offered Indonesia ", said Ambassador Mahendra Siregar.

On this occasion Ambassador Mahendra Siregar also explained the developments in the Southeast Asia region and the role of Indonesia in the United Nations.

"The Southeast Asia region will be the most dynamic region, which will be followed by improved stability. However, it will face various challenges, including proliferation of nuclear weapons in North Korea and tensions in the South China Sea between the 6 countries that claim it. the region, currently ASEAN countries will finalize the Code of Conduct on the South China Sea, where ASEAN member countries and 6 ASEAN partner countries will play a role in increasing stability in the region which has an important influence on world economic growth ", explained Ambassador Mahendra Siregar. (kjri-chicago)


The work of artists from Indonesia is once again an attractive display at the world's oldest and largest fine arts exhibition, the 58th Venice Art Biennale (VAB), in Venice, Italy.

The Indonesian Pavilion located in the Arsenale area displays installation artwork by an artistic team consisting of artists Syagini Ratna Wulan and Handiwirman Saputra, with curator Asmudjo Jono Irianto and co-curator Yacobus Ari Respati.

The theme raised this time is "Lost Verses: reason does not come once, negotiation does not come once", comes from the Minang proverb which can be interpreted as the inclusion of a thing into one's thoughts and feelings through a long negotiation process.

This 500 m2 pavilion is a former seaside warehouse formerly filled with a series of installations consisting of five components of work, namely: Negotiating Tables, Cribs, Cabinet Arrangements, Smoking Rooms and Narrative Machines. Here, art connoisseurs have the opportunity to have their own interpretations of the work displayed.

Head of the Creative Economy Agency (BEKRAF), Triawan Munaf officially opened the Indonesian Pavilion on May 8, 2019. The event was attended by a number of invitations consisting of activists and art lovers from various countries. The opening ceremony was also marked by cutting cone and serving Indonesian coffee.

In his remarks, the Head of BEKRAF said that in the exhibition the times reflected the uniqueness of Indonesia in Bhinneka Tunggal Ika. "The Indonesian Pavilion no longer displays the work of a single artist, but is an accumulation of visions from several artists who joined one team, carried out the process of negotiating ideas in the midst of diversity," said the Head of BEKRAF.

Syagini Ratna Wulan expressed her joy after the Indonesian Pavilion was officially opened. "Preparing the Indonesian Pavilion was very tiring in a relatively narrow time. But today is very fun, because the main character of Indonesia, which is hospitality, is felt by all attendees, "he said.

One visitor, Paula from Austria who is an art activist commented, "The Indonesian Pavilion is truly amazing, with a very original and Indonesian-style idea."

Meanwhile, Deputy Chief Representative of the Indonesian Embassy in Rome, J.S. George Lantu in response to the visitors' questions about the meaning of this exhibition for the relations between Indonesia and Italy conveyed, "This exhibition has special meaning along with the Commemoration of 70 Years of Diplomatic Relations between Indonesia and Italy in 2019, which take the main theme of increasing creative economic cooperation and SMEs between the two countries ".

The Indonesian Pavilion at VAB 2019 is managed by BEKRAF together with the Design + Art Indonesia Foundation, and is open to the public from 11 May 2019 to 24 November 2019.

The Venice Art Biennale is the world's leading art exhibition, starting in 1895, and becoming a barometer of high-value works of art. VAB 2019 was attended by 90 countries, taking the big theme: "May You Live in Interesting Time" with curator Ralph Rugoff. (kemenlu)


Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs, A.M. Fachir Fachir officially opened the Indonesian Art and Culture Scholarship Program (BSBI) 2019, Friday (10/5), at the Pancasila Building, Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The theme of the 2019 BSBI is "Mosaic of Indonesia." The message to be conveyed from the theme is the diversity of the archipelago in terms of culture, religion, and other beliefs, including human life, procedures, mindset and habits of people who are tolerant and managed aligned to become one of the nation's assets.

This year BSBI is participated by 72 participants from 40 countries. During 16 times, BSBI activities have produced 848 alumni from 74 countries who are friends of Indonesia and also helped promote Indonesia in their home countries.

Priority countries for 2019 BSBI participants are ASEAN member countries, ASEAN + 3, SwPD, PIF, a number of European, Asian, African and Interfaith Dialogue Partner countries. There are 3 new countries in the 2019 BSBI, namely, Gambia, Portugal and Colombia. In addition, there are 6 Indonesian youth from Papua, South Sulawesi, East Kalimantan, Central Java, DI Yogyakarta and East Nusa Tenggara.

For 3 months, BSBI participants will train in partner studios and universities of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, namely Semarandana Art Studio - Bali, Kazaki Art School - Makassar, Veterans National Development University (UPN) - Yogyakarta, Gubang Art Foundation - Kutai Kartanegara, Sanggar Sayu Gringsing - Banyuwangi and Syofyani Studio - Padang.

The curriculum that is taught primarily is Indonesian, cultural arts and religious harmony, social activities and local wisdom. In that time frame, participants will have the opportunity to know and feel the atmosphere during Religious Holidays in Indonesia, such as the Day of Vesak, Ramadhan, Eid al-Fitr, and Eid al-Adha and the celebration of the 74th anniversary of the Republic of Indonesia.

Records of creative activities and promotions of BSBI alumni in their home countries for Indonesia include being a dance / choreographer teacher, holding photo painting exhibitions, gastronomic promotions, making Indonesian friendship ties with their home countries, and making songs and video clips for social media.

Indonesian Art and Culture Scholarship (BSBI) is one of the soft power programs of the Government of Indonesia through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) which is aimed at building people to people contact, interaction between communities, especially international and national (Indonesia) youth through arts and cultural media.

The BSBI program is oriented towards efforts to establish a positive image of Indonesia - introducing, promoting and fostering love for Indonesia. The intended program produces friends of Indonesia, the ambassador of Indonesia and builds an Indonesianist network. (Source: Directorate of Public Diplomacy)




Located in the Royal Palace of Lesotho, Ambassador Salman Al Farisi submitted the Credentials to the King of Lesotho, His Majesty King Letsie III. State procession for the Indonesian LBBP Ambassador who has the accreditation of the Republic of South Africa with the Kingdom of Lesotho, the Kingdom of Eswatini, and the Republic of Botswana (9/5)

At the ceremony, the King of Lesotho was accompanied by officials of the Royal Lesotho government, while the Indonesian Ambassador in Pretoria was accompanied by Ms. Umi Al Farisi and Indonesian Embassy officials in Pretoria.

The ceremony began with the submission of the Indonesian  Ambassador's credentials from the President of the Republic of Indonesia to the King of Lesotho, then continued with a military procession. The Indonesian Ambassador in Pretoria had the opportunity to inspect the military forces of the Royal Lesotho who appeared in colorful uniforms. The military reception was held in the main park area of ​​the palace, followed by listening to the national anthem of Indonesia Raya and the national anthem of the Kingdom of Lesotho.

During the submission of credentials, the Indonesian Ambassador conveyed a variety of potential that had not been explored and committed to continue to improve RI-Lesotho cooperation during his assignment. One proof of Indonesia's seriousness in increasing engagement with Lesotho is inviting the presence of the Government of Lesotho and related business actors to participate in the Indonesia-Africa Infrastructure Dialogue (IAID) which will take place in August 2019. IAID is a follow-up to the implementation of the Indonesia-Africa Forum (IAF) successfully implemented in 2018, where Lesotho participated by sending its representatives.

In his remarks, King Letsie III appreciated the Asian-African spirit which always underlies the good relations between the two countries. In the future, King Lesotho expects closer cooperation in the sectors of trade, tourism, agriculture, information technology and telecommunications.

After the submission of the Letters of Trust took place, the King of Lesotho was pleased to talk to Ambassador Salman Al Farisi in person, and again emphasized the importance of the two countries to enhance cooperation in various sectors.

On the sidelines of his official visit, Ambassador Salman Al Farisi also had the opportunity to hold a meeting with high ranking officials of the Kingdom of Lesotho, including Deputy Prime Minister and Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation.

The Indonesian Ambassador in his statement to high ranking Lesotho officials expressed his desire to advance cooperation in strategic industrial sectors such as infrastructure, weapons, textiles and the digital economy. The Indonesian Ambassador also underlined the role of RI as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council which continues to mainstream the African agenda.

The Deputy Prime Minister of Lesotho, Hon. Monyane Moleleki, welcomed the invitation of IAID and hoped that Indonesia would continue to improve various capacity building programs. The Lesotho PM Deputy also acknowledged Indonesia's role in the Peacekeeping Force, and made Indonesia a role model in Lesotho's efforts to actively participate in similar programs in Africa.

Meanwhile, Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs and Lesotho International Cooperation, Hon. Halebonoe Sets'abi, assured that his team would fully support the implementation of the Indonesian Ambassador's duties in Pretoria in an effort to improve relations between the two countries, including welcoming the proposal to start a discussion on a visa-free agreement for diplomatic and official officials.

Lesotho is a landlocked country in the southern part of the Republic of South Africa. Diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Lesotho have been going on since 1993. Ambassador Salman Al Farisi who arrived in Pretoria, South Africa on June 9, 2018, is the seventh Ambassador of the Indonesian LBBP in Pretoria. (Source: Pretoria Indonesian Embassy)