Polish ambassador to Indonesia Beata Stoczynska. (JG Screenshot)

Hitting 65: Indonesia-Poland Relations to Grow Even Stronger

BY :JAYANTY NADA SHOFA

NOVEMBER 10, 2020

Jakarta. 2020 marks the 65th anniversary of Indonesia-Poland diplomatic relations, with ties extending across the economic, security, and political sphere.

According to Polish ambassador to Indonesia Beata Stoczyńska, both countries share similar values which can bolster diplomatic ties in the future. When Beata first arrived in Jakarta to represent Poland in 2018, Indonesia had left a deep impression on the envoy as a busy, dynamic and multicultural country.

"I then noticed the similar spirit of activeness, creativity, and tolerance also motivates the Polish society. We have a lot in common. I do hope this spirit will continue in the future of bilateral relations," Beata said in a video uploaded by the Embassy of Poland in Indonesia on Friday.

High-level diplomatic visits are also regularly held. Last year, Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi met her former counterpart Jacek Czaputowicz in Poland to discuss trade, investment as well as tourism. 

Polish and Indonesian parliaments also closely cooperate through parliamentary friendship groups and member visits, Beata said.

"The bilateral political relations are solid and developing regardless of the 10,000 kilometers of distance between Poland and Indonesia," she added.

The embassy's economic and political officer Michał Węglarz said trade and investments are the cornerstone of Polish-Indonesian ties, with a power plant project in Lombok, West Nusa Tenggara, being the largest Polish investment.

In 2017, Polish contractor Rafako and Indonesian engineering firm Rekayasa Industri (Rekind) joined forces to build a 2 x 50 megawatt power plant for the state electricity company PLN in Lombok.

Michał said Poland also runs an investment and trade agency in Jakarta to facilitate more economic cooperation particularly in the maritime and IT sectors.

To commemorate the 65-year-long partnership, the Polish embassy held a panel discussion on economic cooperation last Thursday.

Bilateral statistics shown in the session revealed the Poland-Indonesia trade turnover in 2019 reached $1 billion. The number also increased by 34 percent between 2016 and 2019.

According to European statistics, Polish export to Indonesia reached $213 million while import from Indonesia was at $794 million.

The panel session also discussed the potential benefits of the free trade agreement between European Union (EU) and Indonesia. In case of Indonesia, the country can potentially enjoy an increase in GDP of €5.2 billion (around $6.1 billion) whereas the potential increase in EU's GDP is as high as €3.1 billion.

Beyond Bilateral Ties

Also in the video, Piotr Firlus, the embassy's head of political and economic department, said Indonesia-Poland play an important role in the global community.

For instance, the two served the United Nations (UN) Security Council to promote global peace and security. They have also teamed up to combat climate change in the 2018 COP24 conference in Katowice, Poland.

"Our common values and commitment to sustainable development brings Poland and Indonesia closer at the global stage. We hope for future constructive collaboration in a multilateral forum since international security and development is our shared responsibility," Piotr said.

Meanwhile, Polish defense attaché Zbigniew Kmiciński highlighted how the Polish-Indonesia cooperation in defense and security moves beyond bilateral ties. Both countries have assigned peacekeepers to support the UN Interim Force in Lebanon (Unifil).

As of Sep. 8, 2020, Indonesia has rolled out 1,254 military personnel making them the largest troop contributor, whereas Poland deployed 220 personnel.

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