BELGRADE-INDONESIA-AMBASSADOR Relationship progress, support to the position towards Kosovo unchanged


BELGRADE, 22nd of April (Tanjug) - Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia (RI) in Serbia Muhammad Abduh Dalamunthe stated that the overall relations between two countries are excellent, and are constantly improving in the political, economic and cultural level and it will also be like that in the future.
Ambassador of Indonesia, in an interview for the national news agency Tanjug at the end of his three and a half year mandate in Serbia, stressed that the government of his country in the event of a unilateral declaration of independence of Kosovo from the beginning believed that it is a violation of international law, that he supports Serbia's position that wants to preserve its own territorial integrity and efforts of Belgrade to find a proper solution for the southern province.
"I think we will continue to be committed to it and that we will support the policy of Serbia to find a peaceful solution for that problem. It is a big problem, there are many ways to solve it, Serbia is using peaceful diplomatic means, the opinion of the International Court of Justice in The Hague, and we support that, " said Ambassador Dalimunthe. Dalimunthe believes that it is very difficult to predict how the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague will decide regarding the request of Serbia, which was supported by the United Nations General Assembly on the occasion of act of the temporary institutions of self-government in Pristina on the 17th of February 2008, because "the Kosovo problem is large, it must be viewed from all angles, politics, law and so on."
"We hope that the court will consider the problem from a legal point of view, but international politics is very complicated. But as they say in Serbia, whatever the decision would be, Serbia will seek a solution to the Kosovo issue by peaceful means and will seek a new round of negotiations and we are supporting this nature of Serbian politics," said Ambassador Dalimunthe.
Indonesia, among other things, is the most populous Muslim country, the third by the population democracy number (after India and the United States), a prominent member of Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) and all influential Group 20 (G-20) of the world's most developed countries and big economies that are on the rise. In Indonesia, which consists of more than 17,500 islands with a total area of over 1.9 million square kilometers, over 230 million people are living there, that comes from about 300 different ethnic groups and speak 742 languages and dialects.
Speaking about the economic cooperation between two very friendly, but geographically distant countries, Ambassador Dalimunthe pointed out that economic ties are those that are promoting overall bilateral relations. The Ambassador said that in recent years a great development in economic relations between RI and Serbia has been seen.
"Trade between our two countries in 2006 was worth 25 million dollars, two years later it reached 54 million, and in 2009 because of the global economic crisis, it ended on about 40 million," stated Dalimunthe who believes that statistically speaking, these relations are "definitely good." The ambassador recalled that in the past, relations of former Yugoslavia and Indonesia were very good, but because of the crisis in the 1990s in the former socialist federation they were reduced to zero, and only since 2005 their re-development began. At the end of the 1950s, the close friendship between the then statesman Josip Broz Tito and Ahmed Sukarno was one of the key bases in the development of NAM and at the same time, cordial relations between Indonesia and Yugoslavia. Hundreds of Indonesians was educated in former Yugoslavia, and the cooperation in many areas has been developed.
Ambassador Dalimunthe now believes that it is very important that businessmen from the two countries are visiting each other, participate in business events, and start to get to know each other in order to understand local terms of trade and to "understand that we need each other". Dalimunthe, in this context, stated that there are many differences between Serbia and Indonesia, but for the economic cooperation they are not "negative but positive".
"I came to the understanding, after three years of my residence here, that there are all kinds of different goods from Serbia that are required for Indonesians," noted Dalimunthe, stating that, first of all it is about the products in the field of medicine, technology and agriculture. On the other hand, "building, transportation, market, but also consumption in Serbia is on the rise, something that is not always good, but it is certainly an indication that people have the money to spend" said Dalimunthe.
Dalimunthe said that great efforts are done now in his country to ensure a healthy living environment and investment in agricultural crops such as soybeans, wheat, corn, for which production there are funds. The Ambassador pointed out that Indonesia has managed to recover from the great Asian financial crisis from 1998 thanks to "well thought and clear economic and monetary policy of the government." Also, business people and the banking sector were actively involved in resolving the problems caused by the global economic crisis that began in 2008, noted Dalimunthe. Favorable circumstance was also that Indonesian banks were not much depended on the financial sector in developed western countries that faced with the collapse of the secondary mortgage markets.
Indonesia is one of the few economies in the world that recorded solid growth of overall domestic product (GDP), during the global economic crisis in 2009, that is 4.5 percent according to the International Monetary Fund (IMF), one of the highest in the G 20. Now "the United States and Europe have overcome the crisis, Indonesia also follows them, thanks to a variety of instruments, "noted Dalimunthe. "Indonesia will be developing and finding a place for their agricultural products, oil and coconut on the international market," said the Ambassador, highlighting the role of domestic agriculture in it.
Indonesia is a developing country whose economy is based mainly on raw materials, the mineral wealth. It is the largest producer of palm oil in the world, a large exporter of rubber, and takes out about 160 million tons of coal a year. For Indonesia to meet the needs of its multi populated and young nation in the next years, the economy should grow at a rate up to 8 percent per year, which is possible, according to Dalimunthe. GDP per capita is 2500 dollars a year, but some segments of the market are now quite developed. Thus, in 2009, about 350,000 cars were sold out, and this year about 400,000 is expected to be sold. RI becomes a magnet for investors and stock market rose by over 80 per cent in the past year. In the next five years ambitious investment plan of 140 billion dollars should be carried out just in infrastructure projects.
In general, Ambassador Dalimunthe is positive about the future development of the economy of his country that could become in the future one of the five major world and national economies and to join the group BRIC (Brazil, Russia, India, People's Republic of China).
Country's foreign policy also contributes to the strengthening of influence of the RI in the international community, and according to President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, "a million friends and no opponent" is the principle of the country. Within this framework, according to Ambassador Dalimunthe, Indonesia supports the holding of "peaceful international life". "We are supporting the efforts of the UN, we have soldiers in the framework of peacekeeping missions of worldwide organizations that are deployed in Lebanon, Congo and other states. We believe that peaceful international life could contribute to the healthy international relations, economic, but also in other areas too," he said.
The Ambassador, as yet more important dimension of Indonesian foreign policy stated "cultural diplomacy", the wealth of that state in film production, music, art, folklore. According to Dalimunthe, it is necessary to invest further efforts in cultural and educational cooperation of Indonesia and Serbia, and in that process it is particularly important to insist on mutual relations of "ordinary people", because we as the embassy are mainly representing the official efforts of the government. Dalimunthe reminded that, with this goal, students from Serbia are leaving to Indonesia on one year study programs where they can be introduced with the domestic culture, language and dance.
Pointing out in the end, that during the mandate in Belgrade he had a significant support by the Serbian authorities, Ambassador Dalimunthe expressed his hope that his successor will continue the construction of good bilateral relations, where collaboration with national news agency Tanjug also has its place. (End)