Indonesian Ambassador's Remarks at the Dinner Reception Commemorating the 67th Anniversary of Indonesia Independence


Indonesian Ambassador’s Remarks

67th Indonesian Independence

Pyongyang, 17August 2012


Excellency Mr. Pak Ui Chun, Minister for Foreign Affairs;

Distinguished Dignitaries;

Excellency [Ambassador Morteza Moradian], Dean of Dipl Corps and Madame;

Dear Ambassador and Madame ;

Distinguished Guest;

Ladies and Gentlemen.


First of all, I want to welcome you all to this dinner reception. It is to commemorate the 67th anniversary of the Indonesian Independence Day, the 17th of August. And … for those who observe Ramadhan, I wish you all the blessings of this Holly Month.


Excellencies, Distinguished Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen,


The Indonesian who proclaimed independence on the 17th of August 1945 were remarkably courageous. They fought a courageous battles and pursued a shrewd diplomacy to win their freedom, the freedom from centuries of colonial yoke. Indonesia was one of the of the first few countries to declare independence after world war II ended.


Today, on the 17th of August, the people of Indonesia numbering some 237 millions, throughout the Indonesian Archipelago, stretching over an area approximately 1.9 million square km, today flying the Indonesian national flag – red and white – singing the national anthem “Indonesia Raya”, all celebrating the Independence Day with joyous and pluralist fashion. It is a day to reflect upon our founding fathers spirit and determination – 67 years ago – to build a nation free from the painful past of colonialism and as well as to put substance of development each time into the future. Excellencies, Distinguished Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen,


Indonesia looks ahead and embraces change. Through changes and reforms, Indonesia has performed well during the past decade, emerging as a vibrant democracy with a predominately Muslim constituency, a strong economy and important player on the international stage. Last year, at this place, I was talking about constitutional and institutional changes, free and fair multi-party elections system, and free press in a democratic Indonesia. But the on-going political reforms process continues to make headways in Indonesia, in tandem with the ever growing extent and desire of the public for democracy. Indeed, democracy has taken root and continues to thrive, but it has not all been too perfect. The issue of decentralization of governments in a democratic setting - for example - is yet to find its firm grip in order to embrace a good governance with more transparency and accountability. Nevertheless, democratic process in Indonesia has created a push for strong and stable economic growth for the benefit of all the people.


In economic terms, Indonesia's economic performance remains positive. It grew by 6.1% in 2010 and 6.5 % in 2011. The GDP to day reaches to approximately 850 billion dollars, while the foreign exchange reserve amounted to 136 billion dollars. The second quarter of this year, Indonesia's economy expanded by 6.4%, compared to 6.3% in the first quarter. Domestic consumption did help to offset a decline in demand for exports. And the economy appears more than resilient vis-a-vis the current global economic and financial uncertainty. Better still, the maintenance of macroeconomic stability as well as the level of its economic growth have increased foreign direct investment in Indonesia, that is by about 30 % to a quarterly record of about 5.9 billion dollars All of these indicators which are there in the open sources have raised more confidence that Indonesia's economy will still be thriving relatively strong in the year to come.


But that is not all about Indonesia in the last decade. In international affairs, as mandated in its 1945 Constitution, the Government of Indonesia is to take part in ensuring an international order based on freedom, peace and social justice. Indonesia with its independent, active and transformative foreign policy, has risen to fit its position as a middle power with a global role, a status that has come not only through the sheer size of its population-and-territory, but also through the growing strength of its economy and the relatively functional democracy that has ensured - by and large - political stability. Indonesia today however is not without its domestic problems. But Indonesia's interests are also tied to global issues and vice versa. In various international fora, Indonesia has been playing active and constructive roles, such as in G-20, in Non-Aligned Movement, in Doha round of trade negotiations, in interfaith dialogues, on the subject of UN reforms, in nuclear weapons non-proliferation, in advancing climate change negotiations, in APEC, ASEAN and ARF.


Excellencies, Distinguished Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen,


On bilateral relations with DPRK, the two countries Indonesia and DPRK have a relationship that has stood through a time span of some 50 years already. But the past year has created a new momentum in its bilateral relationship with Excellency Kim Yong Nam leading a DPRK delegation to visit Indonesia in May 2012. The meeting between Excellency Kim Yong Nam, President, Presidium of the Supreme People Assembly and Excellency Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, President of the Republic of Indonesia in Jakarta on the 1sth May 2012did provide an avenue for the two leaders to discuss and to have an exchange of views on various topics, bilateral and global issues. They stated their renewed commitments to see that the two countries' bilateral relations could further be enhanced.


Much can still be done in order to put more substance in the overall relations between the two countries, especially in the economic field. In trade relations for example, the level of bilateral trade is quite modest. According to the Indonesian Statistics, the total volume of bilateral trade reached to the value of approximately 38 million dollars last year. That being said, more efforts needed in order to improve the bilateral economic relations, despite the difficult present circumstances. it is a challenge to say that with the two countries' ever growing commitments, Indonesia and the DPRK would be able to work more together and explore ways and means on how to increase bilateral economic relations for the mutual benefit of the people both countries.


The bilateral relations does have a common feature each year. This year too, an Indonesian Delegation from the Ministry of Culture and Creative Economy visited DPRK in April to participate in Kimilsungia Festival, an annual flower festival in Pyongyang. So did the Indonesian Embassy open a stand in the festival displaying a photo reference to the April-1965 meeting between President Soekarno and President Kim Il Sung at the Botanical Garden in Bogor City over a specially bred Dendrobium orchids, which was later named Kimilsungia flower, the flower that has ever since become the symbol to bind the two nations.


The past year also saw the first meeting of the Joint information Committee in Yogyakarta, Central Java, in May 20'12.This bilateral committee meeting discussed a number of possibilities for technical cooperation on TV and radio program exchanges, information sharing and technical training between the Indonesian Ministry of Communication and information and the Information Committee of DPRK. The DPRK side is yet to respond on cooperation being offered by the Indonesian side.


Still on the bilateral plane, Indonesia provided this year an assistance of food aid worth 2 million dollars for DPRK through WFP. The Memorandum of Understanding to this effect was recently signed in Jakarta between the National Agency for Disaster Management of Indonesia and the WFP Office in Indonesia.


Excellencies, Distinguished Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen,


This year marks the 45tn anniversary of ASEAN, the Association of South East Asian Nations. For us Indonesia, ASFAN has always been and will remain the cornerstone of our foreign policy. ASEAN is our family, our home, our neighborhood and our future Indonesia shall continue to rise together with all our ASEAN friends, as one. Like other ASEAN countries, Indonesia appreciates to the fact that over the past 45 years of its existence, ASEAN has made tremendous contributions in its region South East Asia, be it in terms of promoting regional peace and security, and in terms of how the Association has been able to promote the benign regional architecture and environment conducive for all individual ASEAN Member Countries to pursue economic development efforts.


The past year have also witnessed the Indonesian Embassy hoisting the ASEAN flag a long side the Indonesian flag at the Embassy's premises in October last year, it was the first waves of the ASEAN flag flying in the air space of Pyongyang or even in the air space of DPRK. In later development, based on the ASEAN Charter, the Indonesian Embassy together with other ASEAN Embassies in Pyongyang established on the 30th of April this year the ASEAN Committee in Pyongyang, thereby the ASEAN interests and identity can be promoted in DPRK in a collective way.


Excellencies, Distinguished Guest, Ladies and Gentlemen,


Finally, I want to thank you for accepting my invitation to celebrate the 67th Anniversary of the Indonesian Independence. ... Thank you for your attention . . . I would now like to propose to you to join me in a toast: for the good health of the Leader of the Korean people Excellency Kim Jong Un; for the good health of President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono, for the peace and prosperity of both the people of Indonesia and of DPRK; for the happiness of all of us attending this reception.


Thank you.

Pyongyang, 17 August 2012