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Indonesia Independence Day

7 September 2016

Ambassador Suprapto Martosetomo of the Republic of Indonesia hosted a reception to commemorate Indonesia's 71st Anniversary of Independence.

Introducing Indonesia to the guests Ambassador Martosetomo said that Indonesia is the largest archipelago and the 4th most populous country in the world, as well as the 3rd biggest democracy in the world. The archipelago has a total 17,508 islands of which 6,000 are inhabited. Indonesia stretches 5,150 km between the Australian and Asian continents and divides the Pacific and Indian Oceans at the Equator. As an archipelago, the majority of Indonesia’s territory is its seas and the vast maritime resources that come with it. With a maritime territory of 5.8 million km2, Indonesia has decided that developing its maritime economy is the way forward to bring prosperity to its people.

Photo: standing l-r: Mrs Ina Suprapto, Ambassador Matu Joyini, Deputy Director General at DIRCO and Ambassador Suprapto Martosetomo

Speaking about relations with South Africa Ambassador Martosetomo said, "Recently, in order to increase the flow of people-to-people contact between Indonesia and South Africa, the Government of Indonesia has taken the initiative to waive visa requirements for South African Passports holders to visit Indonesia. So far this initiative has paid dividends as the number of South Africans who are visiting Indonesia is increasing rapidly."

Speech by H. E. Suprapto Martosetomo Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia

First and foremost, please allow me to extend to you my deepest gratitude and appreciation for taking the time to join us in this celebration of the 71st anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Indonesia.

I would like to take this opportunity to share with you recent development of Indonesia at a glance. Indonesia is the largest archipelago and the 4th most populous country in the world, as well as the 3rd biggest democracy in the world. The archipelago has a total 17,508 islands of which 6,000 are inhabited. Indonesia stretches 5,150 km between the Australian and Asian continents and divides the Pacific and Indian Oceans at the Equator. As an archipelago, the majority of Indonesia’s territory is its seas and the vast maritime resources that come with it. With a maritime territory of 5.8 million km2, Indonesia has decided that developing its maritime economy is the way forward to bring prosperity to its people.

We are here today to mark the 71st commemoration of the Indonesian Independence. The independence of any country, including Indonesia, serves as a means to bring prosperity, justice and progress to its people. These goals serve as the base in which Indonesia today conducts its development. Indonesia has a set of national development planning paradigm that is geared towards transformation. Indonesia has and is in the process of transforming itself into a productive economy, cutting the red tape through the implementation of information and telecommunication technology, accelerating infrastructure development, and putting special emphasis on developing Indonesia’s border regions in order to strengthen national connectivity.

In the implementation of those programs has been the goal of the current Indonesian administration. Indonesia has its fair share of challenges, especially with the slowing down of the global economy that we are still experiencing. This has greatly affected Indonesia’s economy. However, Indonesia has shown that it can withstand those challenges and still put out commendable economic performance. For the 2011-2015 period, the Indonesian economy averages yearly growth of 5.68% while keeping the unemployment level at a manageable 6.18%. For the first two quarters of 2016, the Indonesian economy recorded a growth of 4.92% and 5.18% respectively. This economic growth far surpasses the average growth of the world’s economy and is one of the highest among the Asian countries.

At the international fora, the ASEAN Economy Community begins at the end of 2015, and Indonesia has become an integral part of that community. Indonesia also continues to pursue the peaceful resolution of international conflicts, getting actively involved through dialog and the application of international law.

Indonesia and South Africa have a long and close relationship dating back to the Asia-Africa Conference in Bandung in 1955, when Indonesia as the host nation invited the representative of the African National Congress (ANC) to participate in the Conference. Indonesia has always supported the struggle of the people of South Africa to end the apartheid. This support could be seen in the pages of the Diplomatic and Service Passports issued by the Government of Indonesia before 1994, which contain the clause “Not allowed to enter South Africa”.

The close and cordial relationship between Indonesia and South Africa is also reflected in the interaction of its leaders. Indonesian Leaders have made a number of visits to South Africa, beginning with President Soeharto in 1997, President Abdurrahman Wahid in 2000, President Megawati Soekarnoputri in 2002, Vice President Jusuf Kalla in 2005, and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in 2008. In return, South African Leaders have also made numerous visits to Indonesia, including President Nelson Mandela in 1994 and 1997, President Thabo Mbeki in 2005, Deputy President Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka in 2006, and Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa in 2015.

Recently, in order to increase the flow of people-to-people contact between Indonesia and South Africa, the Government of Indonesia has taken the initiative to waive visa requirements for South African Passports holders to visit Indonesia. So far this initiative has paid dividends as the number of South Africans who are visiting Indonesia is increasing rapidly.

In terms of economy, South Africa is now Indonesia’s third-largest trading partner in Africa. While in the last two years the export-import figures between Indonesia and South Africa has been on the decline, the export-import figures between the two countries in the first semester of 2016 has shown an increase of 5.3%. Current statistical figures notwithstanding, both Indonesia and South Africa are undoubtedly key players in our own respective regions. Both countries are growing economic powerhouses with significant roles to play in the world’s economy. As such, joint effort to increase the scale of our economic cooperation is simply both inevitable and a necessity.      

Embassy of Indonesia in South Africa

 


 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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October 2017 Edition

 
 
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