The 4th session of the Joint Committee on Economic Cooperation between the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Government of the Republic of Bulgaria was held in Sofia, 31 May-1 June 2010. Among others, it was agreed that Indonesia and Bulgaria shall further enhance cooperation on energy and agriculture. The Indonesian Delegation was lead by the Director General for America and Europe of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Retno L.P. Marsudi and comprises the Ambassador of Indonesia to Bulgaria, H.E. Mr. Immanuel Robert Inkiriwang; representatives from Coordinating Ministry of Economy, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources, Ministry of Finance, Cabinet Secretariat, Investment Coordination Agency and Bank Indonesia. The Bulgarian Delegation was lead by Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Prof. Georgi Kostov and comprises representatives from the Bulgarian Ministry of Economy, Energy and Tourism; Ministry of Foreign Affairs; Small and Medium Enterprises Promotion Agency, Executive Agency Maritime Administration and Executive Agency for Fisheries and Agriculture. This Joint Committee was held after four years since the 3rd Joint Committee held in Bulgaria in 2006.
In the field of energy, both delegations recognized the significance of climate mitigation technology such as Carbon Capture Storage (CCS) and clean coal technology. Both delegations agreed on area of interest in the field of energy for potential cooperation such as coal, renewable energy and energy efficiency. In order to establish a stable framework for the development of joint cooperation in the field of energy, both sides re-emphasized the importance to establish a working group on energy cooperation within the framework of this Joint Committee.
In the field of agriculture, both delegations underlined the need to promote Indonesia’s agricultural products in Bulgaria. Both delegations also agreed to establish a working group on agriculture to further enhance cooperation on agriculture. Indonesia welcome Bulgarian investment in the sector of palm plantation, while Bulgaria offered cooperation in constructing a terminal for crude palm oil from Indonesia in one of Bulgaria’s Black Sea ports.
In the field of trade, both sides acknowledged significant 78.6% increase registered in 2008, from USD 49.128 million n 2007 to USD 87.764 million. The decrease of trade volume in 2009 was considered temporary and due to the effect of international financial crisis. Both sides are optimistic in the future bilateral trade noting the 54.8% increase of trade volume for the period January-February 2010, Year-On-Year.
Indonesia welcomed Bulgaria’s interest to invest in coffee plantation and tourism resorts in Indonesia. In addition, Indonesia offered investment in projects open for foreign investment (public private partnership) such as construction of power plants, tol highways, train railways and the Sunda Strait Bridge. To further enhance cooperation on investment, both sides held consultation and discussion in the working group on economy, trade and investment, particularly on matters related to the draft Indonesia-Bulgaria agreement on the protection and promotion of investment.
Indonesia invited Bulgaria to send a diplomat to participate in mid-career diplomatic course to be organized by the Centre for Education and Training of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs on October 2010 or April 2011. The Indonesian side also proposed exchange of lecturers between the Centre for Education and Training and the Diplomatic Institute of the Bulgarian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Both sides agreed to reactivate cooperation between their national news agency, LKBN Antara and Bulgarian Telegraphic Agency in the activities such as exchange of journalists, photos and the organizing of workshops. Both sides agreed to appoint a Person in Charge (PIC) in the respective national news agency to implement of the MOU on cooperation between LKBN Antara and Bulgarian Telegraphic Agency. In this regards, the Indonesian side informed that LKBN Antara had appointed Aat Surya Safaat as its PIC.
During her stay in Sofia, the Head of Indonesian delegation paid courtesy calls to the Bulgarian Minister of Economy, Energy and Tourism, H.E. Mr. Traycho Traykov; and to the Deputy Foreign Minister, Mr. Konstantin Dimitrov.
Photo description (left to right): Ambassador L.P. Marsudi; Wakil Menteri Pertanian and Deputy Minister of Agriculture, Prof. Georgi Kostov