An enriching relationship

His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, with Indonesia President Joko Widodo at Qasr Al Watan in 2020.
His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, with Indonesia President Joko Widodo at Qasr Al Watan in 2020.

Ambassador Husin Bagis Underlines the efforts made by both the UAE and Indonesia to boost bilateral ties

Published: Tue 17 Aug 2021, 12:00 AM

Husin Bagis

The UAE-Indonesia ties

Indonesia and UAE have enjoyed very close bilateral relations. This is evident by the visits made by the leaders of the two countries in July 2019 and January 2020.

During the visit of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, to Indonesia in 2019, the UAE and Indonesia signed 12 cooperation agreements and a number of investment agreements worth $9 billion. Meanwhile, during the visit of Indonesian President Joko Widodo in January 2020, 16 agreements were signed between Indonesia and the UAE.

The agreements are not only focus on the oil sector for generating state revenue, but also tourism, culture, trade, commerce, finance and technology sectors.

We are working very hard to materialise all agreements signed in various fields, including education, defence, health as well as Islamic affairs.

In light of the close partnership between Indonesia and the UAE, we also agreed to establish a bilateral, temporary travel corridor arrangement to facilitate the ease of travel for business, economic, diplomatic, and official purposes during the pandemic of Covid-19. The Safe Travel Corridor Arrangement (STCA) came into effect on 29 July 2020. However, due to the recent situation on Indonesia, the STCA has been put on hold since January 2021.

On political notes, the two countries also have very close cooperation on many areas of the international fora since Indonesia and UAE are committed to advancing global stability through political and peaceful manners. Indonesia and UAE also sharing the same strategy of promoting values of tolerance, moderation, and gender equality.

Main sectors in Indonesia attracting investments from the UAE

Indonesia is one of the world’s richest countries with regards to its biodiversity, natural resources and demographic potential. Therefore, most sectors are very interesting to be developed further in collaboration with international counterparts.

Indonesia is your investment destination. Abundant natural resources, a young and technically trained work force and a large and growing domestic market, combined with an improving investment climate and a higher global profile, are just a few of Indonesia’s salient strengths. With stability firmly planted after 23 years of vibrant democratic rule, Indonesia’s vast economic potential is primed for takeoff.

Indonesia has just launched a risk-based online single submission (OSS) system risk-based approach for simpler business licensing on August 2, 2021, in the effort of the government to improve doing business in the country and boost investment.

President Joko Widodo said the new risk-based online system will create a reliable business licensing that is integrated, fast, and simple, and determine Indonesia competitiveness to attract investment.

Based on discussion between counterparts in the UAE, there are certain sectors that are attracting the most interests, which are renewable energy, infrastructure, agriculture, tourism/hospitality, healthcare, retails business, oil and gas, aluminium industry and digital businesses.

More growth potential

In general, Indonesia still has ample room for further growth considering our current export potential, investment, consumption and government spending. The demographic bonus and the middle-income population could further boost growth while better investment and industrial facilitation will also lead to competitive advantage of Indonesia's economic performance.

As the member of G-20, Indonesian economies currently in the 16th position of the largest economy in the world. Some financial institutions foreseen Indonesian economy will be the seventh largest economy by 2030.

Business and cultural pacts between both nations to promote ties in trade and personal level

The milestone of the recent progress of Indonesia-UAE bilateral ties goes back to the historical visits of President Joko Widodo to UAE back in 2015 and 2020 as well as the visit of Sheikh Mohamed in July 2019. These visits brought closer the two leaders and open up tremendous opportunities across sectors in social, economic, culture and politics.

In the last two years, there are some projects that has been developed in business-to-business perspective, the floating solar power plant 145MWac in Cirata with Masdar as one of leading UAE companies in renewables as 49 per cent of the shareholder of the project, the cooperation between DP World and Indonesian private company Maspion Group, LPG sales contract between Adnoc and Pertamina, an Indonesian NOC, along with it the further expansion of LuLu International Group, from opening the first outlet in Indonesia in 2016 and 2017 they opened two more outlets in 2020 during the pandemic.

In terms of promoting ties in personal level, both countries signed an MoU on Education and Culture in 2020 where more possible collaborations will be achieved.

Indonesia Pavilion at Expo 2020 Dubai

Until now, the Indonesia Pavilion is 99 per cent complete in terms of construction and the interior is 40 per cent done. There are many events and performances planned, both for the national day and the weekly show time.

Message to Indonesian expats on the Independence Day

It is our hope that all Indonesian nationals here in the UAE be granted with health. With the spirit of patriotism and nationalism, let’s not forget to always pray for our beloved nation, may Indonesia be strong and resilient in facing Covid-19 pandemic, may we recover stronger and rebound from its economic impact.

Embassy plans to observe August 17 in the UAE

In light of this pandemic, we will celebrate the Independence Day in 2021 through online activities, holding webinars on stress management in the pandemic era, virtual meeting with Indonesian citizens and also a Live Virtual Show for Indonesian nationals with Indonesian celebrities/artists/influencer as guest stars and many interesting giveaways for the viewers. This will be streamed real-time in the embassy’s social media account on August 27, 2021.

An onsite event will be the Flag Hoisting ceremony that will be done by limited number of diplomats and staff of embassy on August 17 at the embassy’s premises.

Later in September, the embassy will also host a fashion show to introduce Batik, Indonesian cultural heritage that was officially recognised as a Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity from Indonesia by Unesco on October 2, 2009. This event is also a pre-event of Indonesia’s participation in Expo 2020 Dubai.

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