Tangerang, Banten. Madagascar seeks to strengthen bilateral ties with Indonesia and plans to open its mission in Jakarta next year, a minister said on the sidelines of the 10th Bali Democracy Forum on Thursday (07/12).
"The government of Madagascar wants to increase bilateral cooperation in various areas ... especially in the economy, infrastructure and strategic industries," Madagascar's Minister of Communication and Relations with Institutions Harry Laurent Rahajason told reporters at a press conference in Tangerang, Banten.
During the occasion, Rahajason also conveyed his government's support for Indonesia to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.
He added that Madagascar will participate in the inaugural Indonesia-Africa Forum, which is set to take place in April 2018.
"We are also planning to open an embassy in Indonesia in 2018," Rahajason said.
Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said Madagascar plans to strengthen military cooperation with Indonesia
According to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Indonesia-Madagascar relations are "unique" because of the historical ethnic relations between them. The largest ethnic group in Madagascar, Merina, are descendants of Indonesian Polynesians who migrated to the island in the 5th century.
Located off the coast of East Africa, the country's main main exports are agricultural products such as coffee and vanilla.
Indonesia opened its embassy in Madagascar's capital of Antananarivo in June 1975.
The last official visit from Madagascar to Indonesia was President Marc Ravalomanana's in 2008.
The Indonesian government has been working on boosting economic partnerships with sub-Saharan countries, and considers the region as one of its foreign policy priorities. The region is the world's second-fastest growing economy, with 3.5 percent growth last year. The International Monetary Fund expects it to reach 4.3 percent by 2020.