Islamabad: Ambassador of Indonesia Iwan S. Amri has said Indonesia and Pakistan enjoy a unique and interesting history of close bilateral relations, which existed even before the independence of the two countries.
The people of the two nations were also connected to each other during their freedom struggle from the colonial rule.The formal diplomatic ties were established soon after the independence of Pakistan and in October 1947, when Indonesia opened its first representative office in Karachi.
After two years, that office was elevated to the status of the Embassy, which became fully functional in Karachi in 1950.The ambassador expressed these views while giving an interview to DNA.
He said, during this long period, we have successfully maintained a positive momentum of growth in our productive relationships a result of continuous efforts from the leadership of both sides.
Especially in the last two decades, there has been significant development in political, economic and defence ties as new agreements and MoUs have been signed.With its unique geo-strategic position, Pakistan is a trusted friend and partner for Indonesia in South Asian region.
The recent state visit by the President of Indonesia Joko Widodo to Pakistan in January 2018 reflects our strong desire to expand bilateral cooperation in multiple spheres.
He added, some important achievements in our bilateral cooperation are signing of Preferential Trade Agreement in 2013, Defence Cooperation Agreement (DCA) in 2010, Joint Working Group to combat terrorism, MOUs to expand cooperation in the energy sector and to promote educational linkages.
“During my tenure, some positive developments to enhance ties are the accomplishment of the 1st Bilateral Political Consultative Forum in 2017, Joint Committee meeting as a follow up of the Defence Cooperation Agreement, relaxation of visa requirements for Pakistani citizens, MoUs with travel agencies to boost tourism and MoUs with universities to promote educational linkages”.
As regards bilateral cultural relations, I believe that we must capitalize on similarities and reinforcing our common values.
We share many cultural similarities as the people of the two countries are strongly influenced by traditions and enjoy a diverse cultural heritage. Both Indonesia and Pakistan have attractive and colourful shades of culture.
Both are peace loving nations and religion plays an important role in the lives of our people with a deep respect for religious and social values. I believe that strong interaction through cultural exchange programs can bring the people of two countries closer to each other.
Ambassador Amri further said, considering the dynamic growth and vast integrated market of South East Asia, I believe that Pakistan’s “Look East” policy can surely pay dividends.
Pakistan’s exports to ASEAN are $0.993 billion and imports from ASEAN are US $ 6.181 billion. Meanwhile, it is predicted that by 2020, seven of the top ten world economies would be in East Asia alone that signifies its vital economic strength.
Indonesia he said, is a big market of 250 million people and the 16th biggest economy of the world on GDP basis while Pakistan is on number 42 in the list. Indonesia is a part of E-7 group (Emerging Economies) as well as of N-11 (next Eleven)group with a projected GDP grow that 5.3 percent in 2018.
To a question about trade upcoming trade expo, the ambassador said, the Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI) is hosted annually by the Directorate General National Export Development of the Ministry of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia.
This event is an excellent business platform for buyers, traders, investors and business visitors from around the world. The Indonesian Embassy Islamabad invites and facilitate all Chambers of Commerce and Industry in Pakistan for participation in this Expo every year.
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