Namibia, Indonesia Should Exploit Bilateral Relations – Ambassador Sumartono

The main challenge facing the bilateral relations between Namibia and Indonesia is how to further leverage this relationship into a beneficial outcome.

“The challenge for us has always been how to leverage the excellent political understanding between our leadership into beneficial outcomes. Both countries face similar development challenges of pursuing continued economic growth, aimed at eradicating poverty and creating a just and prosperous society,” says Indonesian Ambassador to Namibia, Augustino Sumartono.

The ambassador made these remarks when he addressed the event to mark Indonesia’s 69th independence anniversary on Monday.

He hopes this partnership will go a long way in achieving the goal to benefit both countries.

The first partnership agreement was signed in Jakarta in May 2009 notably in the fields of trade, agriculture, fisheries, information and communication technology, police and education.

“Therefore it is in our hands now to implement those agreements to achieve concrete benefit for the people of both countries. Our balance of trade has not yet achieved a satisfying number,” stated Sumartono.

He believes trade is the economic growth pillar and that both governments must consolidate in their efforts to enhance bilateral trade.

“This can be achieved by facilitating a conducive environment for the business sector, since they are the actual income-generating sector,” he said.

Sumartono informed the gathering that for people to people contact there are a number of exchanges between the two countries.

“Every year we provided the opportunity for Namibian youth to apply for two schemes of scholarships namely the Darmasiswa and Developing Countries partnerships. Also, six Indonesian students are on the verge of completing their studies at the Polytechnic of Namibia,” he said.

For the last two years the Indonesian Embassy has been working earnestly to empower Namibian women by organising a wireworks jewellery workshop.

“To fulfil the demand for the workshop, again two instructors from that country will come to share their knowledge in making beautiful , yet simple and easy crafted pieces of wireworks jewellery.”

He said Indonesia held legislative elections in July this year, when more than 132 million Indonesians voted for their next president.

“We are hopeful for a smooth transition of power, as the winning presidential and vice-presidential contestants will be inaugurated in October 2014,” he said.

He wished Namibia a successful and peaceful election campaign to continue its path to achieve its development goals for its people.

Source : New Era