By Vladimir Khromov
Alexander Lukashenko recently met the Speaker of the People’s Representative Council of the People’s Consultative Assembly of Indonesia, Marzuki Alie, in Minsk. He emphasised that our country views Indonesia as a major, promising partner in the region and that he hopes to see bilateral relations become more efficient following the opening of the Indonesian Embassy to Belarus. A range of bilateral projects are expected to be forthcoming.
This was the first visit to our country by a high-level Indonesian delegation and indicates Indonesia’s wish to continue the dialogue begun in early March during Mr. Lukashenko’s state visit to Jakarta. At that time, the heads of our two states agreed to activate collaboration across all areas, raising bilateral turnover from today’s $133m; the figure could certainly be tripled.
Our portfolio of mutual contracts already exceeds $400m and the Indonesian economy is growing at a record-breaking pace, outstripped only by China. For Belarus, this is a huge sales market for various types of goods. Indonesia is rich in natural minerals and the world’s biggest exporter of tin and palm oil. Meanwhile, Indonesia is attracted by Belarus’ industrial potential and agricultural technologies.
“We’re pleased with the outlined prospects for Belarusian-Indonesian co-operation,” noted the Belarusian President. “We’ll be doing everything possible to gain a foothold for trade in South-East Asia through Indonesia.” He added that, without the support of parliamentarians and the strengthening of diplomatic collaboration, including the opening of the Indonesian Embassy to Belarus, it would be difficult to move forward.
Undoubtedly, the memorandum on co-operation between the National Assembly’s House of Representatives and the People’s Representative Council of Indonesia, signed in Minsk, will be an important step towards achieving our goals. “We’ve discussed the opening of the Indonesian Embassy to Belarus and the granting of visas to Belarusian citizens at the airports and seaports of Indonesia. We’ve also agreed to accelerate the ratification of the agreements signed during the visit of the Belarusian President to Indonesia,” noted Vladimir Andreichenko, the Speaker of the House of Representatives.
Definite projects are taking shape, with Indonesia keen to set up a joint enterprise to produce fertilisers. Mr. Alie noted in Minsk that, while actively developing its own infrastructure and developing large coal deposits, Indonesia is ready to purchase a variety of Belarusian machinery. On its part, Belarus hopes to see an inflow of Indonesian capital into the manufacture of food products. Moreover, Belarus’ participation in the Customs Union opens up additional opportunities for joint work.