Guatemalan foreign minister Sandra Erica Jovel Polanco, left, and her Indonesian counterpart Retno Marsudi meet in Jakarta on Tuesday. (Photo courtesy of Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry)

Guatemala Reopens Embassy in Jakarta


DECEMBER 10, 2019

Jakarta. Guatemala officially reopened its embassy in Jakarta on Tuesday after 26 years. The embassy will also serve as the Central American country's representative office in Southeast Asia.

The embassy was originally opened in 1992 but was closed a year later due to a domestic financial crisis.

"I welcome the reopening of the Guatemalan Embassy in Jakarta. It will become a symbol of the close relationship between the two countries," Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi told her Guatemalan counterpart Sandra Erica Jovel Polanco in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Polanco's two-day visit to Jakarta on Dec. 10-11 is the first from a Guatemalan minister in 26 years since the two countries began bilateral relations.

Guatemala is Indonesia's second-largest trade partner in Central America. Bilateral trade between them totaled $50.29 million in 2018.

Trade between the two countries is expected to rise through multilateral mechanisms such as the Latin America and Caribbean Business Forum and Trade Expo.

Similar to Indonesia, Guatemala is also a big exporter of palm oil, one of Central America's largest.

"I've invited Guatemala to join the Council for Palm Oil Producing Countries [CPOPC]," Retno said after meeting Polanco. 

The two ministers also discussed the possibility of waiving visa requirements for Indonesian diplomats.

They also signed a memorandum of understanding to establish bilateral consultation that is expected to improve relations between Indonesia and Guatemala.

While in Jakarta, Polanco is also scheduled to meet the Asean secretary-general and the CPOPC executive director.

The Guatemalan Embassy becomes the 106th foreign representative office in Jakarta. It is Guatemala's sixth embassy in Asia.