The Concrete Result of IAF 2018: Strengthening Indonesia-Africa Partnership

13 April 2018 1009 Views

Bali, April 11, 2018: Indonesia-Africa Forum (IAF) 2018, a forum organized by Indonesia for the first time, has succeeded in drawing up a series of concrete agreements to further strengthen Indonesia's partnership with African countries.

The forum which at the opening (10/4) was started with the signing of a series of business deals worth USD 586,56 million in the presence of the vice President

The forum which at the opening (10/4) was started with the signing of a series of business deals worth USD 586.56 million in the presence of the Vice President, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, the Minister of Trade and other Ministers of Kabinet Kerja, was concluded with additional business deals worth USD 499.2 million. The Forum also recorded 11 business announcements with a total potential value of USD 1.3 billion.

"Indonesia and the African countries agreed to further intensify economic and trade diplomacy and to strengthen Indonesia's presence in Africa" said Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi in a joint press conference with Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita (11/4). In addition, Foreign Minister Retno also clarified on the various key sectors identified in this forum such as energy, infrastructure, digital economy and innovations, strategic industries, and agriculture.

A number of initiatives will also be strengthened, among others through the holding of various meetings to share experiences and to encourage the interest of businessmen, both at the Government and private levels. On the sidelines of the IAF meeting, a Task Force on Indonesian Infrastructure to Africa has also been established. The Task Force consists of the Government and the private sectors that will map out and implement infrastructure-related policies.

Furthermore, Indonesia and the African countries also agreed to increase cooperation in the field of financing. Since 2015, Indonesia has implemented National Interest Account (NIA). Foreign Minister Retno said that the scale and scope of NIA is expected to be increased to further promote the value of trade.

On the occasion of the press conference, the Foreign Minister also conveyed Indonesia's plan to host Indonesia-Africa Infrastructure Dialogue in 2019.

The Foreign Minister and the Finance Minister have launched a book “Road to Africa”. This book is expected to be a reference for businessmen in establishing business cooperation with businessmen in Africa. In addition, the Foreign Minister also witnessed the signing of the MoU on Economic Diplomacy between the Foreign Ministry and Exim Bank.

A meeting was held to begin the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) discussion with Mozambique, Tunisia, Angola, Kenya and South Africa. Currently, the PTA draft between Indonesia and Mozambique is being discussed and targeted for completion next year. In the field of connectivity, there is Ethiopian Airlines plan to open a new flight route from Addis Ababa to Jakarta in the near future.

In the field of development cooperation, Indonesia and Africa also encourage the South-South technical cooperation and development. Indonesia has committed to double the scholarship program and triple the capacity building program with Africa.

On the occasion of the joint press conference, Trade Minister Enggartiasto expressed appreciation for the implementation of the IAF which was able to produce significant achievements in encouraging the concrete cooperation of both parties. "This forum is amazing. This is really a breakthrough, and for us, it is so much easier, in accordance with the President's order to open up new markets, non-traditional markets, "said the Trade Minister.

IAF 2018 themed "Developing Sustainable Economic and Investment Cooperation" has been held for two days at Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center, 10-11 April 2018. The meeting was opened by Vice President Jusuf Kalla and attended by approximately 575 delegates consisting of governments and businessmen from 47 African countries.

The IAF series consisted of a Panel Discussion themed "Policy Makers' Perspective" and a business forum involving the participation of 39 speakers from Indonesia and Africa. During the forum, to facilitate business to business contacts, an exhibition was held on Indonesian industries and products, which was open to the public. On the sidelines of the IAF, various bilateral meetings had also been held to enhance cooperation between Indonesia and African countries (Source: Dit.infomed)