Your Excellency Mr. Ganiev Elyor Majidovich Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Foreign Economic Relations, Investment and Trade of The Republic of Uzbekistan, Distinguished Guests Ladies and gentlemen
Assalamualaikum wr.wb.
On this auspicious evening, allow me first of all to express my sincere appreciation to all of you for your presence here to join us in celebrating the 65th anniversary of Indonesian Independence Day which actually falls on August 17. On this occasion I also wish to congratulate the government and people of Uzbekistan who had just celebrated the 19th Independence Day which falls at the beginning of this September. We are all optimistic when the sovereignty are entirely in the hands of his own people, then the government would be more concerned in improving the lives of the majority.
We can see the developments taking place in Uzbekistan in various fields since becoming an independent state. When facing the global financial crisis in the last three years for example, Uzbekistan has maintained an average economic growth of 7 percent per year and this has also impacted on the socio-economic living conditions of other sectors. Meanwhile, Indonesia which is now the world's third largest democracy is also able to survive during the economic crisis with an average economic growth of 5 percent in the last two years. The Indonesian government set three main pillars of the vision of future development, namely 'prosperity' with the principle of Development for All, 'democracy' in order to achieve a balance between freedom and respect for the law, and 'justice' that leads to justice for all Indonesian citizens without exception. In foreign relations, Indonesia is taking 'foreign policy in every direction' by continuing to pursue justice and peace in the world to promote cooperation and partnership.
Ladies and Gentlemen, Since the establishment of diplomatic relations in 1992, bilateral relations between Indonesia and Uzbekistan have been increasingly strong and steady. Both countries have succeeded in giving their contributions in the political, economic and social at the bilateral, regional and international levels. Indonesia and Uzbekistan have demonstrated a shared commitment and mutual support in dealing with and resolving various international issues through regional and multilateral institutions in order to maintain peace and stability of the region and worldwide.
In the last two years, we notice the visit of Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs in 2008, followed by return visit of Uzbekistan Minister of Foreign Affairs in early 2009. This year in May 2010, the Indonesian National Development Planning Minister was present at the Annual Meeting of ADB's Board of Governors after the previous year Indonesia hosted the same event in Bali, where Uzbek Minister of Foreign Economic Relations was present. Last month, Vice Chairman of the Indonesian People's Consultative Assembly (Senate) visited Uzbekistan and met with leaders of Uzbek Parliament (Senate and Legislative Chamber) in Tashkent. Coupled with businessmen and tourists from both sides visiting each other, it has shown strong commitment by both nations to strengthen socio-economic cooperation not only between government apparatus, but even more to the wider scope, mainly at the grass-root level or people-to-people interaction.
On the development of relations between the two countries, I am glad to inform that this evening reception is also attended by some members of the Indonesian delegation which had just completed the 5th Bilateral Consultation Meeting between Indonesia-Uzbekistan in Tashkent. It is also important to note, that through the mechanism of regular meetings, this forum can be utilized to explore the untapped potential and to solve various obstacles that impede our path to moving forward in bilateral cooperation in all fields. To mention some examples, we still face many obstacles, such as lack of attention and interaction among businessmen, trade still takes place through third countries, the absence of direct flights and the geographic location of the two countries that are relatively far from each other. With a strong commitment from both sides, I believe that all challenges can be turned into opportunities.
In-cultural education sector, we have been involved in a fairly intensive cooperation through the exchange of students and teachers, among others, a number of Uzbek diplomats have participated in training at the Centre for Education and Training (Pusdiklat) of the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Moreover, in the last three years, Indonesia has provided scholarships for students of Uzbekistan to study Indonesian language and culture as well as courses in certain professions in various educational institutions in Indonesia. In this regard, last month, 10 students from several provinces of Uzbekistan has left for Jakarta before continuing their journey to colleges / universities that have been appointed throughout the island of Java and Sumatra.
In closing, I once again express my gratitude to you all for your attention and presence here in the reception. Let me now ask the audience for a toast together for friendship, peace and prosperity of the people, as well as for the health and leadership of the President from the two countries, Indonesia and Uzbekistan.