India and Indonesia Inked 15 MOUs


Ajit Kumar AJIT KUMARWISDOM IAS, New Delhi.

On a five-day visit to Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia Prime minister Narendra Modi met Indonesian President Joko Widodo in Jakarta on May 30, 2018. A detailed discussions were held about encouraging the bilateral relations between the two countries.  

In a joint press statement after the meeting, Modi said India and Indonesia have agreed to elevate their ties to Comprehensive Strategic Partnership.

He said that India's Act East Policy and the vision of SAGAR (Security and Growth for all in the Region) matches Widodo's Maritime Fulcrum Vision.

"In the Indo-Pacific region, we, as partners, have mutual interests in each other's progress and well-being and that's why we have agreed upon mutual vision and principles for the Indo-Pacific region," he said.

After the end of delegation level talks led by the two leaders, India and Indonesia have signed 15 MoUs.

The MOUs were signed by the two countries in the following fields: 

(i) Defence: Regular bilateral dialogue and consultation on strategic defence and military issues of common interest, exchange of strategic information, military education, training and exercise, cooperation among the Armed Forces including Army, Navy, Air Force and Aerospace, humanitarian aid, disaster relief, peace-keeping and medical services among others.

(ii) Exploration and uses of outer space for peaceful purposes: Space sciences, exploration of outer space, use of space technology, monitoring of Earth’s environment from outer space and remote sensing, use of Integrated Biak Ground Stations for mutual benefit, hosting of Indian ground station in Indonesia, support for launch services of LAPAN made satellites; joint research and development activities in space technology etc.

(iii) Scientific and Technological Cooperation: Information and Communication Technology, Marine Science and technology, energy research, disaster management, geospatial information, applied chemistry etc.

(iv) Railways sector: Exchange of knowledge, technology, institutional cooperation including capacity building, modernization of rolling stock, signaling, communication system, operations in railways; development of inter-modal transport, exchange of construction and maintenance technologies for tracks, bridges, tunnel, overhead electrification, etc

(v) Health Cooperation: Research and development - Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients (API) and IT-based medical equipment, Exchange of health and medical experts, Training in the mutually agreed identified areas.

(vi) Pharmaceutical, Biological and Cosmetics Regulatory Functions: Cooperation in the field of regulatory functions related to Pharmaceutical products, including Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients, Biological products, including vaccines, biotechnology/biosimilar and also Cooperation with each other in multilateral fora

(vii) Policy dialogue between Governments and Interaction between Think Tanks

(viii) MOU between Lal Bahadur Shastri National Academy of Administration of India and National Institute of Public Administration of Indonesia (NIPA)

(ix) Exchange of plan of activities: Plan of Activities to celebrate 70 years of diplomatic relations between India and Indonesia in the year 2019-20

(x) MOU between Kite Museum Ahmedabad and LayangLayang Gujarat

(xi) MOU between Archaeological Survey of India and PT Taman Wisata Candi Borobudur.

(xii) MOU between PT Pindad (PERSERO) &Bhukhanvala: To discuss possibilities for collaboration and use of products and related technical discussions, exchange of data of the project.

(xiii) MOU between Confederation of Indian Industry and KADIN: To promote economic, trade and technological cooperation, exchange of information / visits on economic and commercial cooperation, support activities for trade promotion, suggest and recommend possible partners etc.

(xiv) MOU between International Institute of Information Technology, Bangalore and Agency for Human Resources Development and Research on Communications and Informatics of Indonesia

(xv) MOU between Himalaya Drug Company and PT Kalbe Farma

There were certain announcements made during the delegation level talks: 
- Tata from India and PT Pindad in Indonesia to collaborate for supply of TATA trucks
- Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) to open its first overseas Office in Jakarta, Indonesia with its representative from India
- Letter of intent signed earlier in April 2018 for twinning of Bali and Uttarakhand – under sister province arrangement
 
Political Relations
During our respective struggles for independence, the national leaderships of India and Indonesia led by Jawaharlal Nehru and President Sukarno collaborated closely in supporting the cause of independence of Asian and African countries and later laid the foundation of the Non-Aligned Movement at the Asian-African Conference held in Bandung in 1955. Since the adoption of India’s ‘Look East Policy’ in 1991, there has been a rapid development of bilateral relations in political, security, defence, commercial and cultural fields. The current Government wants to further deepen the relationship with East Asia and has therefore rightly titled its policy as “Act East”.
 
Commercial Relations:
Indonesia has emerged as the largest trading partner of India in the ASEAN region. Bilateral trade has increased from US$ 4.3 billion in 2005-06 to US$ 17 billion in 2016-17. India is the second largest buyer of coal and crude palm oil from Indonesia and imports minerals, rubber, pulp and paper and hydrocarbons reserves. India exports refined petroleum products, commercial vehicles, telecommunication equipment, agriculture commodities, bovine meat, steel products and plastics to Indonesia.

During the visit of President Joko Widodo to India on 12-13 December 2016, a 25- member high-powered business delegation accompanied the President. Boosting of economic engagement with special focus on pharmaceuticals and IT was the main business agenda of the visit. On the sidelines of the visit, the meeting of India-Indonesia CEOs' Forum was held in New Delhi on 12 December 2016.
Indian Community In Indonesia:

There are around 100,000 Indonesians of Indian origin in Indonesia mostly concentrated in Greater Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya and Bandung. They are mainly engaged in trade dealing in textiles and sports goods
 
Significance of Indonesia
Indonesia has a maritime significance for India for two reasons. First, it is a maritime neighbour of India and secondly, it covers a huge water area covering the Indian Ocean and South China Sea and forms a part of the new strategic entity - the Indo-Pacific. This is particularly keep in the face of the strategic rivalry that India and other Southeast Asian countries have with regional hegemon China.
 
China's strategic assertion has caused regional and extra regional powers to concentrate on and create a formidable deterrent entity of Indo-Pacific, where powers such as the United States, Japan and Australia have increasingly encouraged India's active role.

Indonesia has the largest economy in Southeast Asia and is one of the emerging market economies of the world. The country is also a member of G-20 major economies and classified as a newly industrialised country.[17] It is the sixteenth largest economy in the world by nominal GDP and is the seventh largest in terms of GDP (PPP). Its GDP per capita however ranks below the world average.

The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) is a regional grouping that promotes economic, political, and security cooperation among its ten members: Brunei, Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, and Vietnam.

About Indonesia
Indonesia is the largest Moslem country and the fourth most populous nation in the world, yet not many Americans understand much about this important archipelago. This unitary republic is strategically located in Southeast Asia, between Asia and Australia and between the Pacific and Indian Ocean. With over 17,000 islands, the population consists of over 300 ethnic groups, each with its own local language and local tradition, struggling for survival, maintenance and, in some cases, dominance.

Lying on the western rim of the Ring of Fire, Indonesia has more than 400 volcanoes, of which 129 are considered active, as well as many undersea volcanoes. The island of New Guinea (on which the Indonesian province of Papua is located) is the second-largest island in the world, Borneo (about 2/3 Indonesian, with the rest belonging to Malaysia and Brunei) is the third-largest, and Sumatra is the sixth-largest.

 It has an estimated population of over 220 million people and 87% are Moslems. Although the country recognizes 5 main religions (Islam, Catholicism, Protestantism, Hinduism & Buddhism), Islam has been the most influential in the political and social life of the Indonesian people.
 
 




Thursday, 31st May 2018, 05:39:35 PM

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