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Economic Diplomacy, IAID 2019 Inked Business Agreement Worth US$822 Million

Girl in a jacket

Bali, Indonesia – During the two-day Indonesia-Africa Infrastructure Dialogue (IAID) in Nusa Dua, Bali, several business agreements worth US$822 million or around IDR 12.3 trillion wasproduced and estimated to continue growing. The value has increased,comparedto the results achieved in the 2018 Indonesia Africa Forum (IAF).

The business agreement is the result of trust among African countries. Indonesia and the African countries are no longer trapped in the romance of the 1955 Asian-African Conference, as they have stepped forward with more concrete cooperation.

The IAID which was inaugurated by the Indonesian President on 20 August 2019 succeeded in making a breakthrough for the cooperation enforcement with Africa. During the IAID, Indonesian Foreign Minister and Indonesian Vice Foreign Minister simultaneously held a series of bilateral meetings with several African countries such as Uganda, Madagascar, Morocco, Senegal, Equatorial Guinea, Namibia, Tanzania, Botswana, Somalia, and Nigeria. Indonesian FM also had the opportunity to meet H.E. Raila Odinga, the High Representative of African Union for Infrastructure Development.

The IAID has succeeded in making a breakthrough strategy to strengthenInfonesia-Africa cooperation. Besides the business agreement, in the event, Indonesia has also signed a Joint Statement with Djibouti regarding the establishment plan of Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA). Meanwhile, the PTA with Mozambique will be signed in the short future. Indonesia also carried out the first round of negotiation of the PTA formation Mauritius in the last two days of the meeting. Indonesian Foreign Ministry as the spearhead of the diplomacy, especially economic diplomacy, in collaboration with the Ministry of Trade continues to encourage the PTA with non-traditional markets to increase the exports of Indonesian products.

In terms of SOEs and private business' progresses, IAID has facilitated product expansion to Africa, including the investment of Energi Mega Persadain oil and gas sector in Mozambique,and Sinar Antjol which continues to expand to Ethiopia, Ghana, and most recently to Tanzania.

Enforcement of Indonesia's Diplomacy Infrastructure

To support the economic diplomacy, Indonesia has strengthened its diplomacy infrastructure by opening a representative office in Yaounde, the capital city of Cameroon. The opening of the representative office aims to effectively and focally support Indonesian diplomacy in the West and Central African regions.

Indonesia will also upgrade the status of itsembassy in Antananarivo, Madagascar, that was previously led by a Charge d'Affaires. In the short future, the embassy will be managed by an Ambassador Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary.

In addition to the diplomacy infrastructure enforcement in the African region,this year the number of Indonesian Honorary Consuls in Africa will be increased by 70%up to22 Honorary Consuls, with the possibility of 4 additional consuls. The appointment aims is to ensure the service for all Indonesian stakeholders in strengthening cooperation with Africa,as the consuls willperform the duty as the extension of the Indonesian Governmentdespite the absence of Indonesian Embassy in the respective countries.

In the future, Indonesia will continue to initiate meetings to generate tangible achievements to improve Indonesian and African people's prosperity. Indonesia shall advance, hand-in-hand with Africa. (Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia)