UAE presence will have positive impact on G20 Summit: Indonesian envoy

Upcoming gathering to focus on strong and sustainable recovery, namely food and energy security

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Supplied photo

Rasha Abu Baker

Published: Fri 7 Oct 2022, 6:03 PM

Last updated: Fri 7 Oct 2022, 6:05 PM

As Indonesia prepares to host the G20 Summit in Bali this November, the Indonesian Ambassador to the UAE Husin Bagis has emphasised the need for a coordinated commitment to mutual cooperation by nations in order to navigate the various challenges of today's world.

“Mutual cooperation is what Indonesians call “Gotong Royong”, which means everyone carries the same burden, hence, we all should work together to achieve a defined and common purpose of a prosperous and peaceful world. This is the message that we are trying to convey through G20,” Bagis told Khaleej Times.

In its 17th edition, which will run from November 15-16, the G20 Summit will focus on three priority sectors that are the key to a strong and sustainable recovery, namely food and energy security, strengthening global health architecture, as well as digital transformation. “To address the global challenges, each country needs to develop cooperation both at the multilateral and bilateral levels,” the ambassador noted.

Road to recovery

“Indeed the pandemic has hit us hard, especially in economic growth. Although Indonesia is confident in the positive trajectory of economic growth, after the pandemic, there are many other challenges that will impact the growth,” Bagis said.

Those issues, he said, include food and energy insecurity, and climate change. “That is why Indonesia is actively involved in the efforts to achieve peace between Russia and Ukraine, to ensure that the food supply will not be disrupted any longer, and also Indonesia’s active role in the COP of the UNCCC.”

“As a forum that was established in response to the global crisis, we believe that the G20 becomes the appropriate forum for international economic cooperation.”

The ambassador went on to express the importance of the UAE’s participation at the Summit, especially being a leader in priority issues facing world. “We believe that the UAE will contribute to reaching concrete results at the G20 this year, to benefit the world economy. We all know the UAE is indeed one of the countries that lead in the three priority issues (Global Health Architecture, Digital Transformation, and Sustainable Energy Transition).”

One notable partnership between the UAE and Indonesia was the signing of the Indonesia-UAE CEPA (Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement) on July 1, 2022. It is projected to enhance trade balance between the two countries to$10 billion in the next few years. “The IUAE CEPA is expected to be Indonesia's entry point to the UAE, which is a hub for increasing exports to potential export destination countries such as the Middle East, Africa, Central Asia, and South Asia,” Bagis explained.

According to the agreement, Indonesia will get 0% (tariff-free) for the exporting products of gold, tyres, spare parts, automotive accessories, car batteries, solar batteries, palm oil, jewellery, paper, rubber, and spices.

“In addition to strong economic ties, Indonesia, the most populous Muslim country in the world, and the UAE are highlighting shared common values regarding moderate Islam and a readiness to work together to promote tolerance and fight against religious extremism,” Bagis added.

Road to COP27

The ambassador said that Indonesia and the UAE are both committed to addressing environmental and climate change, which remains to be a shared mission and concern for both nations, and a growing area for cooperation.

“No country is immune to the effects of climate change. In Indonesia, we have experienced harsher weather with high rainfall and temperature. This has wide-ranging consequences for the ecosystem in Indonesia and will jeopardise food and water security, land loss in coastal areas, and increase health risks.”

“I’m happy that one of our cooperation with the UAE is on mangroves, which provides a natural barrier for coastal communities and whole ecosystems from storm surge, flooding, and erosion.”

A Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Mangrove Development Programme was signed on February 15, 2021 and the two sides are in the process of having the Implementing Arrangement, Bagis said.

“One of the programmes is A Mangrove Alliance for Climate which aims to support and promote mangroves as the solution to climate change in form of mangrove plantation, joint study, and research.

“Leaders [from both countries] continuously cooperate in the areas of transfer of knowledge and technology for green transitioning and waste management. Both countries agreed to achieve said goals and milestones in the G20 Leaders’ Summit and COP 27 in Sharm El Sheikh,” he concluded.

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