The Republic of Indonesia will celebrate its 72nd anniversary of Independence Day on August 17th, 2017. This day 72 years ago, the first President and Vice President of Indonesia, Soekarno and M. Hatta, declared Indonesia’s independence from the colonial’s rule. The day also marked the people’s commitment to bound themselves to the common identity as Indonesians. Thenceforward, the archipelago is unified under the Unitary State of the Republic of Indonesia, which fundamental values are laid out in its 1945 Constitution.
Having experienced under the colonial’s rules for hundreds of years, the Founding Fathers asserted in the Preamble, the fundamental principles of sovereignty, independence, freedom unity and prosperity. The Constitution has also mandated that Indonesia should contribute to the establishment of world order based on freedom, perpetual peace and eternal justice.
To fulfill the mandate, Indonesia maintains an active and free foreign policy. Indonesia is active in many international forums as member of regional and multilateral organizations. In the UN, Indonesia has formally launched its campaign for a non-permanent UN Security Council seat for 2019-2020. It has gathered supports from countries and other partners, including Romania. Regionally in South-East Asia, Indonesia regards ASEAN as the cornerstone of its foreign policy in all fields of cooperation.
Indonesia is a very diverse country. It consists of around 17,000 islands, 1300 ethnicities, and more than 700 local languages. Its population is the fourth largest in the world, and its economy is the 16th largest in terms of GDP. These diversity and strength are the contributing factors for fruitful cooperation with other countries.
With Romania, the diplomatic relation was opened in 1961. During 11-14 April 1960, President Soekarno made his first state visit to Romania. The following year, the first Indonesian Ambassador for Romania was appointed. Fast forward in 2017, the bilateral relations between Indonesia and Romania are stronger than ever.
In terms of political cooperation, official visits from both governments and member of parliaments have opened dialogues, increased understanding and strengthened shared values. In October 2016, the Foreign Minister of Romania visited Indonesia to meet his counterparts in Jakarta. The Romanian FM met with the Indonesian FM, Trade Minister, and Transportation Minister. In September 2017, Indonesia and Romania will conduct a bilateral consultation in Jakarta to enhance existing cooperation and explore other potential cooperation.
In terms of economy, both sides need to explore more trade and investments opportunities. With growing economies, Indonesia and Romania should be excellent partners in doing business. Energy, consumption goods, and chemical products are potential sectors for both countries.
In terms of social-cultural, exchanges of students increase understanding between people of the two countries that are geographically separated by land and oceans. Every year, Indonesia offers scholarships for Romanian students to learn Indonesian culture and language. Up to now, almost 100 Romanian alumni graduated from scholarships offered by the Indonesian government. Moreover, Indonesia is also eager to introduce the uniqueness of its culture to Romanian public in the form of gastronomy, art, and performances.
The Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Bucharest aims to engage more partners in Romania. More joint projects and collaborations between Indonesia and Romania are key to creating a more robust and friendly bilateral relations between the two countries.