Untitled Document

Sunday 24 September 2017 04:57:00 AM
Sunday 24 September 2017 06:27:00 AM

Bilateral Relations

Embassy of India
Jakarta

India-Indonesia Bilateral Relations

India and Indonesia have shared two millennia of close cultural and commercial contacts. The Hindu, Buddhist and later Muslim faith travelled to Indonesia from the shores of India. The Indonesian folk art and dramas are based on stories from the great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata. The shared culture, colonial history and post-independence goals of political sovereignty, economic self-sufficiency and independent foreign policy have unifying effect on the bilateral relations.

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”.

State Visit of President Yudhoyono in January 2011: During the State Visit of President Mr S. B. Yudhoyono to India in 2005, the two countries signed a Joint Declaration on Establishing a Strategic Partnership. In January 2011, President Yudhoyono visited India as the Chief Guest on the occasion of India’s Republic Day. During the visit, 16 Inter-Governmental Agreements were signed which included an Extradition Treaty, Mutual Legal Assistance Treaty, and MoUs on Establishing a Biennial Trade Ministers’ Forum, Cooperation in Oil and Gas and Cooperation in Science and Technology. It was agreed to organize regular meetings of Defense, Home, Oil and Gas, Coal, Power, Renewable Energy, Science and Technology, Tourism, Health and Education Ministers. India and Indonesia agreed to launch negotiations for a Bilateral Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement and to organize a Trade and Investment Forum, an Energy Forum and a CEO’s Forum alternately in either country.  

State visit of Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh in October 2013:  Prime Minister Dr. Manmohan Singh visited Indonesia on 10-12 October 2013. During the visit, MOUs on the issues such as combating illicit trafficking in Narcotic drugs; cooperation in disaster management; and cooperation in combating corruption were signed. Both leaders agreed to adopt a five-pronged initiative for strengthening the Strategic Partnership in the areas of Strategic Engagement, Defence and Security Cooperation, Comprehensive Economic Partnership, Cultural and People-to-People Links and Cooperation in Responding to Common Challenges.

Visit of Vice President of India in November 2015: Shri M. Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India visited Indonesia from 1-4 November 2015. Three MOUs were signed during the visit of Vice President viz. MOU on cooperation in the field of Culture; MOU on cooperation in new and renewal energy; and MOU for establishment of an Ayurveda Chair in Faculty of Medicine at Sudirman Campus, Denpasar, Bali. Vice President unveiled a bust of Mahatma Gandhi in Udayana University, Bali.

State Visit of President Joko Widodo to India: Mr. Joko Widodo, President of Indonesia paid a State visit to India from 12-13 December, 2016 at the invitation of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi. President Joko Widodo and Prime Minister Modi held talks and reviewed the entire gamut of bilateral relations. Three agreements were signed during the visit: MoU on Youth Affairs and Sports Cooperation; MoU on Standardization Cooperation; and Joint Communique on Illegal, Unregulated and Unreported (IUU) Fishing and To Promote Sustainable Fisheries Governance. The two sides also issued a Joint Statement; A Statement on Maritime Cooperation which mandates both sides to draw up a MoU for cooperation in this area; and agreed to annual meetings of the leaders. The two sides agreed to commence Strategic Dialogue, Security Dialogue and to negotiate a new Comprehensive Defence Cooperation Agreement. India and Indonesia also agreed that the following mechanisms will meet within the first six months of 2017: Joint Ministerial Commission; Defence Ministers Dialogue and Joint Defence Cooperation Committee; Biennial Trade Ministers Forum and Energy Forum at Ministerial level. The India-Indonesia Eminent Persons Group submitted its report to H.E. Retno Marsuki, Foreign Minister of Indonesia and H.E. Shri M.J. Akbar, Minister of State for External Affairs on 12 December 2016. Garuda Indonesia launched its flight from Jakarta to Mumbai on 12 December 2016 to mark the occasion.

India participates in IORA Leaders’ summit: Shri Mohammad Hamid Ansari, Vice President of India, represented India in Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Leaders’ Summit held in Jakarta from on 7 March 2017. Speaking at the Leaders’ Summit, Vice President said that India shares the vision of peaceful region and sea around that. Vice President announced India’s willingness to set up an IORA Centre of Excellence for strengthening Maritime Domain Awareness in one of the coastal cities of India. Vice President Ansari also stressed that IORA must show zero tolerance for state sponsored terrorism. Gen. (Retd.) V. K. Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs represented India in IORA Council of Ministers Meeting held on 6 March 2017.

Recent meetings at Ministerial Level:   Smt. Sushma Swaraj, Minister of External Affairs and Indian Overseas Affairs visited Jakarta to participate in the 60th Asian African Conference Commemoration (AACC) during 21-24 April 2015. She met with Mr. Muhammad Jusuf Kalla, Vice President of Indonesia and Ms. Megawati Soekarnoputri, former President of Indonesia and Chairperson of PDI-P on the sidelines of AACC. General (Retd). Vijay Kumar Singh, Minister of State for External Affairs, visited Indonesia for participation in the Ministerial level meeting of 60th AACC in Jakarta. MOS (VKS) held talks with Ms. Retno Marsudi, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Indonesia on the sidelines of AACC. He again visited Indonesia for participating in IORA Council of Ministers Meeting held in Padang from 22-23 October 2015 and in Bali on 27 October 2016.

Mr Kiren Rijiju, Hon’ble Minister of State for Home Affairs, participated in the International Meeting on Counter Terrorism held in Bali on 10 August 2016. During his bilateral meeting with H.E. Mr Wiranto, Coordinating Minister of Political, Legal and Security Affairs of Republic of Indonesia, both sides reviewed all aspects of bilateral cooperation including defence and security cooperation.

Shri Piyush Goyal, MoS (I/C) for Power, Coal, New & Renewable Energy and Mines, visited Jakarta on 20-22 April 2017 for the 1st India-Indonesia Ministerial-level Energy Forum. During the visit, he met with the Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources H.E. Mr. Ignasius Jonan; Minister of Transportation H.E. Mr. Budi Karya Sumadi; Chairman of Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board H.E. Mr. Thomas Lembong; and Deputy Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources H.E. Mr. Arcandra Tahar. As agreed by Minister Piyush Goyal and Minister Ignasius Jonan, a 21-member Indonesian delegation visited India on 02-07 May 2017 to follow up on the action points agreed upon during the Energy Forum.

MoS for External Affairs Shri. M.J. Akbar led a high-level delegation to the ‘2nd IORA Ministerial Blue Economy Conference: Financing Blue Economy’ held in Jakarta from 8-10 May 2017. On the sidelines of the visit, MOS (MJA) held meetings with the Foreign Minister of Indonesia H.E. Ms. Retno L.P. Marsudi and the Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs of Indonesia H.E. Mr. Luhut Pandjaitan. He also met with the Chairman of Nahdlatul Ulama, Dr. Aqil Sirodj. Smt. Mercykutty Amma, Minister for Fisheries, Harbour Engineering and Cashew Industry of Kerala attended the Working Session on 8 May.

The Minister of State for Food Processing Industries of India H.E. Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti, visited Jakarta on 21-23 August 2017. She met with the Trade Minister of Indonesia Mr. Enggartiasto Lukita and discussed ways of enhancing the trade especially in food processing sector and related issues. She requested the Trade Minister to lead a delegation to the World Food India expo.

Recent Ministerial Visits from Indonesia: A delegation led by Mr. Jonan Ignasius, Minister of Transportation visited India from 12-16 February 2016 at the invitation of Ms. Nirmala Seetharaman, Minister for Commerce & Industry for exploring opportunities for economic cooperation between the two countries. He led the delegation to ‘Make in India’ event in Mumbai and met CIM, Minister of Civil Aviation and MoS (Ministry of Railways). Minister of National Development Planning of Indonesia Mr. Sofyan Djalil visited New Delhi from 17-19 February 2016 to participate in Delhi Dialogue VIII. Mr. Wiranto, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs visited India on 14-15 March 2017 to participate in the Counter Terrorism Conference (CTC) 2017 held in New Delhi. He had meeting with Mr. Kiren Rijiju, Minister of State for Home Affairs where he discussed issues of bilateral interest and cyber security.

Foreign Office Consultation and Joint Working Groups:   The Third Foreign Office Consultation (FOC) between the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia and the Ministry of External Affairs of the Republic of India was held in Jakarta on 17 December 2015. The two sides have instituted several Joint Working Groups (JWGs) to look into varied aspects of bilateral cooperation.  

Parliamentary Exchanges: There are regular Parliamentary exchanges between two countries. A 13-member Indian Parliamentary Goodwill Delegation led by Hon’ble Mr. Ravi Prakash Verma, Member of Parliament, visited Indonesia from 14-18 April 2016. A delegation from DPR Commission I visited India from 6-12 December 2015 which was followed by the visit of delegation from DPD from 10-16 December 2015. A Great Indonesia Movement (Gerindra) party Parliamentary delegation led by Mr. Ahmad Muzani, Member of Parliament, visited New Delhi from 27 August to 2 September 2016 to learn about Elections Mechanism in India, People Empowerment and new initiatives being taken in Agricultural sector.

Recent Ministerial Visits from Indonesia: A delegation led by Mr. Ignasius Jonan, Minister of Transportation visited India from 12-16 February 2016 at the invitation of Ms. Nirmala Seetharaman, Minister for Commerce & Industry for exploring opportunities for economic cooperation between the two countries. He led the delegation to ‘Make in India’ event in Mumbai and met CIM, Minister of Civil Aviation and MoS (Ministry of Railways). Minister of National Development Planning of Indonesia Mr. Sofyan Djalil visited New Delhi from 17-19 February 2016 to participate in Delhi Dialogue VIII. 

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. The CEOs Forum comprised of 22 members from each side. The forum discussed and arrived at constructive suggestions to further enhance bilateral trade and investment cooperation. It was agreed by both sides to set up sectoral core groups to suggest specific recommendations to institute strategies for expanding the cooperation in identified sectors and to take up any impediments to trade and investment with both governments. Additionally, a select group of twenty Indian CEOs met President Joko Widodo on 13 December 2016 during which the President invited the Indian companies to invest in Indonesia and assured them that the Indonesian government will address issues if any on priority basis.

The Mission has organized several interactive sessions of India Business Forum, which is a representative organization of all the Indian business interests in Indonesia, with the investment board, local chambers of commerce, regional governments as well as the visiting Indian government and industry delegations. In the recent past, a number of commercial events/visits have been organized/coordinated by the Embassy. The Mission has also prepared a number of market studies which were shared with the Department of Commerce, Industry associations and other stakeholders in India.

Cultural Relations

There is an active cultural exchange between the two countries. The Mission operates Jawaharlal Nehru Indian Cultural Centre (JNICC) which conducts regular classes of Indian classical music, Indian classical dances (Kathak and Bharatnatyam), Yoga, and also teaches Hindi and Tamil languages. In association with Indonesian art institutions, Embassy/JNICC invites folk artists, authors and scholars from India. Indonesian scholars and journalists are extended hospitality for visiting India under various schemes like Distinguished Visitors Program and Ministry of External Affairs’ Media Exchange Program. Quality Indian movies are screened in Embassy auditorium from time to time for avid Indian movie fans.  

Jawaharlal Nehru Indian Cultural Centre (JNICC):JNICC participated in the prestigious International Dance Festival 2017 organized by renowned Dancer choreographer Didi Nini Thowok at Yogyakarta where it presented classical dance form of India. The annual gathering of Bugis community for 2017 at Sulawesi was also enriched by cultural performances by JNICC Dance and Music Teachers. JNICC was invited to be a part of the Borobudur International Festival 2017. It represented itself with folk dance and music presentation by Rajasthani folk group from ICCR. The group also performed at several venues in south Sulawesi and Jakarta. JNICC also marked its successful presence at Asia Africa Carnival at Bandung in April 2017. JNICC also actively involves in cultural fusions: be it fine arts or performing arts. Bringing together the best of Indonesian and Indian talents to create an innovative fusion is an area of JNICC`s core interests. JNICC’s well-stocked library of 10,000 books is frequently utilized by all interested. Many University and High school students and researchers as well as scholars seek the support of JNICC to gather information about socio-cultural scenario of India. JNICC also organizes all major festivals of India like Holi, Ganesh Mahotsav, Navratri, Durga Pooja, Diwali and more in order to constantly engage with the Indian Community of Indonesia. JNICC continues to be a very active and a major Indian Cultural Center of South East Asia.

Sahabat India: Festival of India in Indonesia 2015:‘Sahabat India -The Festival of India in Indonesia’ was inaugurated on 26 January 2015 by H.E. Ms. Megawati Soekarnoputri, former President of Indonesia. The festival was organized from 26 January to 15 August 2015. During the Festival of India, more than 35 different events such as folk dances, dance drama, puppet show, musical shows, exhibitions, seminars, mall promotions, screening of Bollywood cinema, documentaries and the like were organized sixteen different cities of Indonesia.

International Day of Yoga-2017: The Mission is successfully organizing International Day of Yoga (IDY) since 2015. The IDY events organized by Mission and Consulates attract large participation. The third International Day of Yoga (IDY) was organized by the Embassy in association with United Nations Information Centre, Jakarta, on 17 June 2017 at Taman Menteng, Jakarta. Around 1500 persons of different age and professions participated in the event. The International Day of Yoga events were also organized in Bali at Renon Park, Denpasar, on 18 June 2017; in Medan at Candrakusuma School on 18 June 2017; in Surabaya at Brawijaya Driving Range on June 18, 2017; and in Timor-Leste on 17 June 2017 at Christo Rei, Dili.

Education:Indonesia is a major recipient of ITEC & TCS of Colombo Plan scholarships. In financial year 2016-17, 125 slots has been allocated to Indonesia out of which 104 were utilized. For financial year 2017-18, 130 slots have been allotted to Indonesia. Indian Council for Cultural Relations (ICCR) offers 20 scholarships every year to Indonesian students for pursuing higher studies in India. Since 1994-95, nearly 200 Indonesian students have availed the ICCR scholarship.

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. There are more than 7500 Indian nationals living in Indonesia including engineers, consultants, chartered accountants, bankers and other professionals. The Indian community is very well regarded in Indonesia, is generally prosperous and includes individuals holding senior positions in local and multinational companies. The Embassy in August 2012, established an Indian Cultural Forum (ICF) which is umbrella organization of thirty-one Indian social organizations. Embassy also organizes Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas to engage with the Indian Diaspora in Indonesia.  

Useful Resources

For more information and latest updates please visit:

Embassy of India, Jakarta website: http://www.indianembassyjakarta.com
Embassy of India, Jakarta Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/IndiainIndonesia
Embassy of India, Jakarta Twitter account: https://twitter.com/@IndianEmbJkt
Embassy of India, Jakarta YouTube channel:  http://www.youtube.com/user/IndianEmbJkt
India Global- AIR FM Gold Program featuring India and Indonesia Relations: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YM6DXyyHlkM

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(Updated upto 02 September 2017)