Meeting with Speaker of Regional Representative Council of People’s Consultative Assembly of Indonesia Irman Gusman

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Belarus and Indonesia agreed to step up cooperation in all avenues. This is one of the main results of the meeting between President of the Republic of Belarus Aleksandr Lukashenko and Speaker of the Regional Representative Council of the People’s Consultative Assembly of Indonesia Irman Gusman which took place on 25 May.

The head of state stressed that Belarus and Indonesia are longtime partners. There are no closed topics in bilateral relations. Diplomatic relations between the two countries were established in 1993. In 2011 Belarus opened an embassy in Indonesia. “We expect a return move from Indonesia,” the President stressed.

According to Aleksandr Lukashenko, economy is the foundation for any contacts. Last year the Belarusian-Indonesian trade made up about $125 million. The head of state stressed that, although this figure is not big, there is a huge potential for trade and economic cooperation. By the increase in bilateral trade between Belarus and Indonesia made up 70%.

Aleksandr Lukashenko reminded that during his visit to Indonesia in 2013 the countries reached an agreement to shift from simple trade to cooperation ties between the two countries. “Our machine-building companies are ready to enter the market of Indonesia, set up joint companies,” the President said. In his words, joint companies could be a serious step forward in the Belarusian-Indonesian contacts.

The head of state sees good prospects in the interregional cooperation with Indonesia. The enhancement of interregional cooperation could generate serious progress in the Belarusian-Indonesian interaction. Interregional cooperation always brings good results, the head of state said. “We can cite contacts with other states as an example,” he added.

Aleksandr Lukashenko said that the next session of the Belarusian-Indonesian joint commission for trade, economic, scientific and technical cooperation will take place at the beginning of summer. “The topics that we have explored in recent years and the agreements reached during the parliamentary visit of the Indonesian delegation should be on the agenda of this session,” the head of state is convinced.

The President assured the Indonesian side that Belarus is interested in advancing relations with this country. “You have a reliable partner in the center of Europe. The depth and width of our relations will depend on the goodwill of your leadership,” Aleksandr Lukashenko said.

Irman Gusman, in turn, agreed to advance the bilateral trade to a brand-new level. Given the modernization of all branches of the economy, including agriculture, is in full swing in Indonesia, Belarusian equipment and technologies can be used there.

“I am convinced that the present volume of trade between our countries — $215 million — is insufficient. I also agree with your statement that we should work together to greatly raise the figure. I hope that by the 25th anniversary of the establishment of Belarusian-Indonesian diplomatic ties in 2018 we will be able to raise the trade turnover up to $1 billion,” Irman Gusman said.

The speaker of the Regional Representative Council said he believes that consistent efforts of both sides at all levels — diplomacy, the parliaments, and the private sector — are needed to reach the goal that has been set. Irman Gusman also said he believes that the geographical location of the two countries — Belarus in the center of Europe and Indonesia as an important country in Southeast Asia — will help accomplish the goal.

Irman Gusman said that the embassy of Indonesia will be opened in Minsk in the near future. It will help promote bilateral contacts. In his words, the Belarusian-Indonesian contacts should not be limited to trade and investments; they should also include science, education, culture, youth policy and sport. “This is an important supplement which shapes our future,” he said.

The speaker of the Indonesian parliament also touched upon the issue of peace and security. He praised the contribution of the Belarusian President to the stabilization of the situation in the region connected with the events in Ukraine. “The Minsk agreements that attracted the attention of the whole international community were signed here,” the Indonesian guest noted. He expressed confidence that the agreements will be implemented and peace will return to the region.