Message from the Ambassador |
Saudi Gazette - 17 August, 2012
At the very outset, allow me on behalf of the Government and the people of the Republic of Indonesia to extend our prayers to King Abdullah, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, and Crown Prince Salman, Deputy Premier and Minister of Defense.
May Allah bestow His Majesty long life and good health and bless all Saudi leaders and citizens of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia to forge ahead to achieve the desired goals. May Allah Almighty always confer the welfare and prosperity to all people of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
On this auspicious day, let me extend my greetings to my countrymen living in Saudi Arabia as well as to the people and government of the Kingdom. On this day, 67 years ago, Indonesia had proclaimed its independence throughout the world.
Indonesia would not forget the support extended by Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries during the days of the Indonesian struggle for independence. At that time, the Arab nations and other anti-colonial countries in the world have been so supportive in gathering relentless pressure toward the colonialist administration in various international fora until eventually Indonesia successfully proclaimed its independence on 17 August 1945.
Saudi Arabia and Indonesia have established their relations in a traditional way along ago. And recently, the two countries relations remained strong, cordial and robust all the time and this progressively growing relationship has been marked by strong religious, cultural and political ties over the years.
The Kingdom and Indonesia have had mutual understanding and similar approaches on the whole range of bilateral and international issues and the two countries have always been keen to boost links in trade and investment, energy and manpower sectors.
Indonesia has established its diplomatic relations with the Kingdom since 1950. At that time, an Indonesian diplomatic mission was opened in Jeddah. The bilateral relation got a major boost when the late King Faisal Bin Abdulaziz visited Jakarta in 1970.
Later in 1985, Indonesia opened an Embassy in Riyadh and also a Consulate General in Jeddah. On the other hand, Saudi Arabia opened its representative office in 1950 and then officially established its Embassy in Jakarta in 1955. Since then, relations between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia have remained strong, cordial and robust up to the present time.
It was only in 2006 that President H. Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made his state visit to Riyadh and held talks with King Abdullah. During the meeting, the two heads of state discussed various efforts to enhance relations between the two countries in all field of cooperation.
In the field of bilateral trade, the total trade volume Indonesian and Saudi Arabia in 2010 is approximately US$ 5,52 billion, in 2011 it was around US$ 6.85 billion and in 2012 (from January - April 2012 ) it is around US$ 2.61 billion. Most of country’s investments are in the fertilizer and refinery industry, oil processing, real estate and trade representative offices.
The two sides have been pushing for the establishment of at least three joint ventures between Saudi Arabian and Indonesian businessmen who will mainly focus on garment manufacturing and food processing. The Saudi Arabia investment to Indonesia has reached to US$ 8.6 billion.
In the tourism sector, in 2011 around 90,000 Saudi tourists visited Indonesia for business purposes and holiday, whereas a total of 830,000 Indonesians visited the Kingdom to perform Hajj (230,000) and Umrah (600,000). In the field of manpower, presently there are around 1.2 million Indonesian workers in Saudi Arabia. Most of them are women employees who work in various kinds of informal sectors.
In the field of defense cooperation, both countries have agreed to establish working group to enhance the bilateral ties, exchange of officials and information.
In the field of socio-cultural and educations, Saudi Arabia has already established an Institute of Islamic and Arab Sciences (LIPIA) in Jakarta, while Indonesia has also established its schools for Indonesian students in Riyadh, Jeddah, and Makkah.
At the moment there are 604 Indonesian students in the King Saud University (KSU)-Riyadh, Imam Muhammad Bin Saud Islamic University (IMSIU) Riyadh, King Fahd University of Petroleum and Minerals (KFUPM) Dhahran, Umm Al-Qura University (UQU) Makkah, and Islamic University of Madinah (IUM) Madinah, and King Abdullah University (KAUST) in Rabigh.
Indonesia and Saudi Arabia established a Joint Commission Meeting which functioned as a bilateral forum to discuss various kinds of issues related to the latest development between the two countries on economic, trade, investment, energy, socio-cultural, and manpower.
In Bali, Indonesia, delegations from the two friendly countries undertook the ninth Session of the Joint Commission Meeting on April 26-27 of this year and agreed to further boost its strategic partnership and cooperation in various field such as manpower, economic and trade, implementation of Haj and Umrah, endowments and waqf, immigration, healthcare, tourism, aviation, and energy sectors for the mutual benefit of both the friendly nations.
I believe that all matters that had been discussed in the latest Joint Commission Meeting can be implemented soon for the benefit of the people of two countries. Insya Allah, with the blessing of Allah Almighty, the cooperation ties between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia will grow even stronger in the future.
On this happy occasion, I would like to call on all my fellow Indonesians in Saudi Arabia to oblige themselves to work hard, be diligent, honest, and obey the rules and regulations prevailing in Saudi Arabia.
May Allah bestow His blessings upon us. Let us encourage all components of our great nation, let us hand-in-hand reinforce the unity and togetherness, and work harder to build a great, advanced, and glorious State of the Republic of Indonesia.