Budi N

Budi N

Budi Nugroho P.

 

12
April

Through the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) Executive Board`s membership for 2017-2021 period, Indonesia looks to improve its role to be more beneficial for UNESCO, Culture and Education Minister Muhadjir Effendy stated. The minister made the statement on the sidelines of the UNESCO Executive Board Session at the organization`s headquarters in Paris where Coordinating Minister Puan Maharani conveyed the Indonesian government`s view on UNESCO on Tuesday. Maharani conveyed Indonesia`s view on the government`s policy in the field of cultural and human resource development as part of the country`s duty in UNESCO.

On the occasion, Maharani conveyed an official statement from the Government of Indonesia, including the country`s commitment to providing assistance to UNESCO. She noted that being elected as one of the members of the UNESCO Executive Board for the 2017-2021 period, Indonesia is keen to increase its role for the benefit of the organization.

The inclusion of Indonesia into the Executive Board of UNESCO is expected to have a mutual influence, and Indonesia`s presence can also be felt by all members of the organization, especially in various forms of cooperation that have been established and also assistance sought by other countries. In addition, the UNESCO Executive Board membership can be useful for Indonesia in the context of development of culture and human resources. ( antara ) 

12
April

The governments of Indonesia and Ghana have agreed to cooperate against the negative campaign on palm oil commodity.

"I have met the vice minister of agriculture and food of Ghana. We discussed about a lot of negative campaigns against oil palm. The palm oil-producing countries should unite against the negative campaigns," Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno Marsudi stated here on Wednesday.

She met the Vice Minister of Agriculture and Food of Ghana Kennedy, Osei Nyarko, at the bilateral meeting that was held on the sidelines of the Indonesia-Africa Forum (IAF) at Nusa Dua Bali Convention Center. Indonesia and Ghana discussed extensively about the palm oil industry as they are among the countries that produce the commodity. Marsudi added that the Ghana government has expressed willingness to jointly face the challenges of the negative campaign.

"Ghana has expressed its readiness to cooperate with Indonesia in order to handle the negative campaigns against oil palm industry," Marsudi revealed.

Additionally, Indonesia has also invited Ghana to join the association of palm oil-producing countries, Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC), which was established on the initiative of Indonesia.

"The government of Ghana must consider their participation in CPOPC. There are already some Indonesian palm oil companies in Ghana. Ghana has asked Indonesia to help the development of its palm oil industry," the foreign minister remarked.

Some negative campaigns against palm oil have occurred in EU countries, where a resolution entitled "Palm Oil and Deforestation of the Rain Forest" was proposed by the European Parliament on the basis that the development of the palm oil industry has become the major cause of deforestation and weather changes. The action is considered contrary to the stance of the EU that embraces the principle of fair trade. ( antara ) 

11
April

 Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi said that Indonesia-Africa Forum (IAF) proves Indonesia`s commitment to improve cooperation with the African countries.

"For more than a year we have been working hard to prepare this forum. It shows Indonesia`s commitment to strengthen its love and cooperation with Africa," the minister stated at the opening of the IAF at the Nusa Dua Bali Convention Center on Tuesday.

Indonesia is eager to hold cooperation with the spirit of equality, care, and collaboration, which is sustainable and mutually beneficial.

"You may be wondering why Indonesia initiated the IAF; the immediate answer is that Indonesia loves Africa. Our love for Africa is not only reflected in words but also in deeds," Marsudi noted.

She stressed that Indonesia wants to play a role and be a part of development in African countries, by studying the vision of Africa 2063 and monitoring the progress of the African Free-Trade Continent. 

The first day of IAF will consist of some panel of discussions between Indonesia and African countries on policy making and perspectives on strategic topics such as economic diplomacy, infrastructure development, financing facility initiatives, digital transformation, and strategic industries.

On the second day (April 11), an Indonesia-Africa Business Forum will be held to discuss important topics such as connectivity, digital economy, agriculture, small and medium enterprises (SMEs), South-South and Triangular Cooperation, as well as the future of Indonesia-Africa economic relations. Throughout the forum, ministers, high-level officials, CEOs, bankers, and leaders of the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Indonesia and African countries will discuss and exchange ideas.

"I am glad that a number of Indonesian state-owned companies have participated in this forum, including Pertamina, PT INKA, PT Dirgantara Indonesia, PT PAL, PT TIMAH, and many others," Marsudi remarked.

The foreign minister also welcomes the CEOs and business representatives from Africa, including Ethiopian Airlines, Topwide Ventures Limited, Africa Export-Import Bank, and Amirco Commercial Service.

IAF is an event held for the first time by the Indonesian government as a platform to encourage concrete economic cooperation between Indonesia and African countries. IAF is in line with President Joko Widodo`s encouragement for Indonesia to enter non-traditional markets, especially Africa. The Indonesian government seeks to convert the proximity of Indonesia`s political relations with African countries to the proximity of economic relations.(antara)

11
April

Indonesia is committed to enhancing cooperation in the field of infrastructure development with African countries through the establishment of a task force in the designated field.

"The Indonesian Government will establish a task force and visit several potential African countries," Coordinating Minister of Maritime Affairs Luhut B. Pandjaitan said in a release received on Tuesday.

The task force will function as a body to identify and solve problems as well as cooperation potentials in the field of infrastructure development between Indonesia and African countries, Pandjaitan said after attending the opening ceremony of the Indonesia-Africa Forum held in Nusa Dua, Bali. Its members will consist of government officials, State-owned Enterprises, private sectors and national banks.

"We want to ease everything, such as adjusting regulations, preparing paying mechanism. Most importantly it is based on the nation`s interest, transparency is absolute," Pandjaitan said.

Pandjaitan revealed that state-owned railway company PT INKA will have some projects in Africa, as well as other state-owned enterprises such as PT WIKA in the field of construction. Strategic industries, such as Indonesian ship manufacturer PT PAL and state-owned aircraft company PT DI are also interested to expand their market to Africa, he said.

In the implementation of IAF in Bali on April 10-11, Indonesia had invited at least 53 African countries to attend. It will be a historical event, as it will be organized for the first time by the Indonesian government and will serve as a platform to forge stronger ties with African countries since the Southeast Asian country is eyeing Africa`s non-traditional market.

Director of Africa of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Daniel Tumpal Simanjuntak said that the IAF is also expected to serve as a platform for the participating countries to discuss tariff barriers. One of the efforts to be undertaken by Indonesia to reduce tariffs is to build cooperation with the Economic Community of West African States, a regional economic entity comprising 15 member countries in West Africa.

Meanwhile, Indonesia`s biggest trade partners in the Sub-Saharan Africa include Nigeria, Gabon, Ivory Coast, Madagascar, South Africa, Kenya, Tanzania, Benin, and Djibouti, while the biggest partners in North Africa are Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco. Moreover, the forum is expected to serve as a platform for Indonesian and African stakeholders to discuss business deals.

Indonesia`s main exports to the African region are palm oil, processed foods and beverages, soaps, paper, garments, and motor vehicles, while its main imports from the region are crude oil, cotton, cacao kernel, pulp, chemical materials for fertilizers and industry, and tobacco.

Several issues to be highlighted during the IAF include those related to agriculture, strategic industry, strengthening economic diplomacy, digital economy, infrastructure, and connectivity. Indonesia will also promote products of its strategic industries, such as a medium-range, twin-engine CN-235 transport aircraft produced by IPTN, as one of its primary products in the African market.

Vice President Jusuf Kalla officially opened the IAF on Tuesday. Kalla revealed the total value of Indonesia`s trade with Africa in 2017 reached US$8.85 billion. This value is increased by 15.49 percent compared to the previous year.

As the second growing economy in the world, Africa has many hidden potentials. Kalla even mentioned Wakanda, a fictional African nation and home to the superhero Black Panther, as a parable of how Africa has "hidden gems". According to Kalla, Indonesia and Africa are also in the process of building massive infrastructure to boost the economy. (antara)