Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and her Polish counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz speaking to journalists in Jakarta on Monday. (Photo courtesy of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Direct Flights Between Warsaw and Bali Planned as Indonesia, Poland Boost Ties

BY :SHEANY

NOVEMBER 26, 2018

Jakarta. Polish Foreign Minister Jacek Czaputowicz said Indonesia is a key partner for his country in the region, after the two countries agreed to strengthen economic and tourism cooperation. 

"Indonesia is perfectly positioned to be our key partner in Southeast Asia," Czaputowics told the press after a meeting with Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in Jakarta on Monday.

"We appreciate Indonesia's role as a rising regional power and Asean leader, [and] commend Indonesia's growing international activity, which more and more often extends beyond Southeast Asia," he added.

Retno said relations between Indonesia and Poland are in a positive momentum, with bilateral trade having increased 24.8 percent increase between January and August this year from the corresponding period last year.

Polish investment in Indonesia amounted to nearly $20 million last year, compared with $1.6 million in 2016. About 30,000 Polish tourists visited Indonesia last year.

"These are good numbers, but of course there is still great opportunity for growth. We need to work harder, especially in the current global economy climate," Retno said.

The two minsters also discussed ways to step up economic cooperation between their countries and agreed to increase business interaction and expand access to each country's competitive products, while also working towards concluding ongoing negotiations for the Indonesia-European Union Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement.

Indonesia and Poland will establish direct flights between Warsaw and Denpasar, Bali, to boost tourism. There are also plans to improve cooperation on higher education.

Czaputowics's visit this week is the first by a Polish foreign minister to Indonesia since 1997.

As part of his three-day visit, which began on Sunday, he met with Yogyakarta Governor Sri Sultan Hamengkubuwono X and he is also scheduled to inaugurate the Polish Investment and Trade Agency in Jakarta, which aims to facilitate closer economic ties between Indonesia and Poland.

Czaputowics said there is growing interest among Polish businesses to invest in Indonesia.

Polish engineering, procurement and construction contractor Rafako is currently building a 100-megawatt power plant for state-owned utility company Perusahaan Listrik Negara in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara.

"Poland could also offer its competitive strength to Indonesia in areas of electro-mobility solutions for public transportation [as well as] medical equipment and the maritime industry," Czaputowics said.

During Monday's meeting Poland announced plans to provide funding for reconstruction of disaster-affected areas in Lombok and Central Sulawesi.

Multilateral Cooperation

Indonesia and Poland will both occupy seats as nonpermanent members of the United Nations Security Council next year – the former serving its first of a two-year term, and the latter its second.

"Indonesia is committed to work closely together with Poland and enhance communication and consultation on many pressing issues when we are together in the Security Council next year," Retno said.

Czaputowics told reporters that the two countries share similar priorities, such as peacekeeping and conflict resolution.

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