Friday, August 17th 1945 at 10 a.m., Soekarno read a paragraph of 37 words, proclaiming the independence of Indonesia, from the porch of his house. The proclamation was followed with a flag-raising ceremony, with simple bamboo as the pole, along with the singing of Indonesia Raya (Great Indonesia). No protocols, no choir, no conductor to lead the singing. But that day, a nation was born, its people could call themselves Indonesians, and set the future on their own hands as a nation.
Today, Monday, August 17th 2015, Indonesia is celebrating the 70thanniversary of its independence. History remembered, flags are rising, national anthem is sung. For me as an Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, celebrating Independence Day abroad actually brings me closer to home. A blessing and a great task at the same time.
It is a blessing because only by being far from home, I feel the yearning for my motherland, Indonesia. I could solemnly ponder the struggle of our founding fathers and other compatriots who have sacrificed their lives in order to be able to raise Sang Saka Merah Putih, the national flag, in our territory.
It is indeed a blessing because on this day, I could gather with my fellow Indonesians in Bucharest and hold festivities. Not only for Indonesians, fellows who have emotional closeness with Indonesia are also coming and celebrate this great day together. I believe Indonesian identity does not belong only to Indonesians, but also to those who regard Indonesia as their home, or as their second home.
A great task to be carried is to give meaning to the independence we have earned. Representing Indonesia in a country as great as Romania, I fervently hope that I could bring merit to both countries by fostering cooperation, increase trade and investment, introducing Indonesia to Romanians, and strengthen people to people contacts.
In March 1961, the first Indonesian mission was established in this city of Bucharest. But even before we opened our Embassy, the relationship between Indonesia and Romania have already existed. Along the path of our abundant history, we witness the close cooperation between the two countries in many fields.
In trade, the excellent bilateral relations between Indonesia and Romania consist of some potential figures in trade volume. Business people are visiting Romania, organizing business forums, delegations of important political and high rank officials of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Trade, and Investment Board are coming from Indonesia and going from Romania in order to increase the volume of both bilateral relations and economic development.
Indonesia will hold the 30thedition of the annual Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI) in Jakarta, 21-25 October 2015. As the largest trade event in Indonesia, this occasion will provide the Romanian business community with the opportunity to set up direct business-to-business relations with thousands of high quality Indonesian suppliers as well as with buyers from all around the world.
In the field of education, the Indonesian government annually offers to foreign nationals, including Romanians, “Darmasiswa” scholarships to study the Indonesian language, art and culture. Many young Romanians have participated in the one year non-degree program at various Indonesian universities all across the country. This annual program about Indonesian culture and ways of life has been proven successful in creating links and growing mutual understanding among people from different countries and continents.
Several main agendas are to be achieved in the near future, and I hope that many agreements can serve as a wider framework for cooperation so we can start to implement them in our growing relations.
With these positive momentums, Indonesia will continue to deepen and expand the existing bilateral cooperation with Romania on the basis of the principles of partnership, equality, and mutual benefit.