Tuesday, March 27, 2018


 Jakarta, March 27, 2018 (Antara) - Celebrating six decades of diplomatic relations, Indonesia and New Zealand have agreed to upgrade bilateral ties to the level of comprehensive partnership in various fields including economy, education, and disaster mitigation.
        The agreement was reached during President Joko Widodo's state visit to New Zealand on March 18-19, 2018. The visit, undertaken at the invitation of Prime Minister of New Zealand Jacinda Ardern, was the first by an Indonesian leader in 13 years.
        President Widodo and Prime Minister Ardern highlighted the importance of the 60th anniversary of formal diplomatic relations between New Zealand and Indonesia that were built on the solid foundation of people-to-people contacts and had blossomed into one of the most valuable relationships for both nations. 
   Hence, it was fitting that President Widodo's visit to New Zealand also marked the elevation of bilateral relations to the level of comprehensive partnership, according to a joint statement issued following a bilateral meeting between Widodo and Ardern in Wellington on Mar 19.
        The two leaders also reaffirmed the commitment to increase two-way trade to US$2.9 billion (Rp40 trillion) by 2024. They emphasized that an open, stable, and conducive business environment is the key to achieving this goal.
        They also welcomed the two-way growth in trade and services and affirmed the importance of increasing investment to support mutually beneficial growth, boost productivity, and increase meaningful job opportunities.
        Moreover, Prime Minister Ardern praised the New Zealand-Indonesia business forum held in Auckland on March 16, 2018, and President Widodo's in-depth discussions with business CEOs from New Zealand. Both leaders believe this would contribute to the deepening of two-way trade and investment links.
        The business forum was divided into two sessions, with the first moderated by Head of Indonesia's Capital Investment Coordinating Board Thomas Lembong.
        Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand Tantowi Yahya, the chief of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and business executives from companies operating in the pharmaceutical, palm oil, food, and geothermal sectors were among those present at the forum.
        New Zealand's delegation at the meeting comprised 29 members: government officials and CEOs from the animal husbandry, tourism, and energy sectors.
        Indonesia has successfully clinched a potential business deal worth $5.4 million during the business forum, Director of National Export Development at the Indonesian Ministry of Trade Arlinda noted in a statement.
        Arlinda led the Indonesian trade mission that began in Auckland on March 16, 2018, and ended in Wellington on March 19, 2018.
        Huge potential transactions were recorded from negotiations on coffee, fertilizers, and palm oil derivative products.      
   Ambassador Yahya lauded the potential trading recorded in the one-on-one business matching event. Yahya is optimistic that the demand for Indonesian products would be high in the New Zealand market.
        "I am proud that this first trade mission to New Zealand has succeeded in recording huge potential transactions. This is a good step for the two countries to achieve a total trade of Rp40 trillion by 2024," Yahya stated.
        Indonesia's bilateral trade with New Zealand in 2017 had increased by 15.72 percent to $1.19 billion compared to 2016.
        In 2017, Indonesia's total exports to New Zealand had amounted to $437.8 million, or 1.09 percent of New Zealand's total imports. On the other hand, New Zealand's total exports to Indonesia were valued at $751.1 million, or 0.47 percent of Indonesia's total imports.
        Most of Indonesia's products exported to New Zealand are palm nut or kernel oilcake, wood for furniture, coal, and facial tissues.
        Meanwhile, both leaders also reaffirmed their commitments under the New Zealand-Indonesia Joint Communiqué on Combatting Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated Fishing and Promoting Sustainable Fisheries Management, which was signed in 2016. 
   Prime Minister Ardern also confirmed New Zealand's interest in participating in the 5th "Our Ocean" conference, to be held in Indonesia in October 2018.
           Indonesia and New Zealand are committed to increasing two-way education links. Jokowi and Ardern highlighted the cornerstone contribution that people to people connections provide in building a relationship that is as enduring and robust as that shared by New Zealand and Indonesia. 
     In the tourism field, they saw an increase in the numbers of New Zealand citizens travelling to Indonesia, and Indonesian citizens travelling to New Zealand. 
      Both leaders noted the prospects for future growth with the addition of new Bali-Auckland direct flights in 2018.  This would add significantly to travel between the two countries, as well as increase freight options.
          Furthermore,  Indonesia and New Zealand agreed on the extension to the Memorandum of Cooperation on Disaster Risk Management between the National Disaster Management Authority of Indonesia and the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
          Ardern announced funding for two new development projects: a NZ$4.5 million three-year project that will enable the Indonesian Red Cross to respond more effectively to disasters; and a NZ$3.5 million five-year project to develop a network of skilled young civic leaders, with a commitment to sustainable development in Eastern Indonesia, through participation in a New Zealand-based leadership programme.
          While attending a state luncheon hosted by New Zealand Governor-General Dame Patsy Reddy at the Government House, Wellington, President Jokowi promoted Indonesian coffee to the host and other guests.
           As a former businessman, Jokowi explained that his entrepreneurial instincts immediately surfaced upon hearing that New Zealanders are fond of drinking coffee.
          Indonesia is among major coffee producing countries, after Brazil, Vietnam, and Colombia.
       According to data of the Trade Ministry, Indonesia has produced an average of 691 thousand tons of coffee per year, while Brazil produced 2,905 thousand tons; Vietnam, 1,650 thousand tons; and Colombia, 840 thousand tons.
        The country is currently aiming to become the second-largest coffee producer by increasing production to one million tons a year.
        Indonesian Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita believed that New Zealand is a very potential market for Indonesia's coffee. ***3***

(T.F001/A/BESSR/F. Assegaf) 27-03-2018

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