Remarks of Ambassador on the Auspicious Occasion of the 69th Independence Anniversary of the Republic of Indonesia

19, Aug 2014 | Author: Embassy of Indonesia

Assalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

It is my privilege to express my warmest greetings and felicitations to all Indonesian citizens currently residing in Bangladesh for the auspicious occasion of the 69th Independence Anniversary of the Republic of Indonesia, the world largest archipelagic state with more than 17.508 islands. Today, Indonesians all over the world commemorate once again the perseverance of the founding fathers in liberating the people of Indonesia from the yoke of colonialism and upholding freedom and the right of self-determination. The pivotal moment was the Proclamation of Independence right on this date sixty-nine years ago by Soekarno and Mohammad Hatta, which was subsequently followed by four years of tenacious war of independence that culminated with the affirmation of Indonesian independence by the world. Many heroes martyred for the nation, and with this commemoration their struggle shall not be forgotten and their legacy will stand the test of time.

At the same time, I would like to convey my profound gratitude to the government and people of Bangladesh for the continued strengthening of the brotherly relations between Bangladesh and Indonesia. Both Bangladesh and Indonesia fought bravely, fiercely, and determinedly for their independence and freedom of rights. The Indonesian Independence day does not only commemorate the heroic struggle of Indonesia against colonialism and imperialism, but also Bangladesh’s struggle thirty-three years ago to be liberated from subjugation of oppression.

For Indonesians everywhere, this occasion is a perfect chance to reflect the long path that has been traversed by the nation. The country was colonized by the Netherlands hundreds of years ago, with the Netherlands slowly encroaching from the island of Java and the Moluccas to the outlying islands of Indonesia. This was followed by the Japanese in 1942. Indonesians had to endure a long period of struggle, sacrificing innumerable people and properties. After an honorable victory was achieved in 1945, the government and constitution were established, with strong commitment to freedom, independence and anti-colonialism. It also assertively upheld the beauty of diversity in Indonesia as summarized by the country’s national motto, “Bhinneka Tunggal Ika” or “Unity in Diversity”. Indonesia also pledged its commitment against intolerance, discrimination, human rights violation, and crime against humanity. In order to reflect these commitments, the government of Indonesia continues to support the freedom and independence of the sovereign state of Palestine. Historically, it also played a pivotal role in the 1955 Asia-Africa Conference in Bandung, which later became the foundation of the Non-Aligned Movement. In the upcoming future, the Indonesian government will continue to emphasize the importance of dialogue and restrain in solving any conflicts.

The 69th anniversary is marked by several important achievements and events. Last month, approximately 185 million eligible voters out of around 247 million Indonesians casted their vote to determine their new president, which was preceded by a parliamentary election. The election in Indonesia is the third largest in the world, only surpassed by India and the United States. The process was transparent, free, and fair, supported by unprecedented freedom of speech and widespread mass media coverage. It has been hailed by international observers as a success story of transition from dictatorship to full-fledged democracy. It has also been cited as the evidence of the compatibility of democracy with Islam. The candidate who received the national mandate will be inaugurated on October 20, 2014, and this will be the first time power is transferred from a democratically-elected leader to another democratically-elected leader.

This auspicious occasion is also marked by the increasing role of Indonesia in the international community. Indonesia is the leading member of ASEAN, and is striving to strengthen the ASEAN in enhancing its collective contribution and asserting its common position to the world. Indonesia is also part of the G20, which consists of 20 major economies of the world. Apart from our valuable political contributions, an essential Indonesian contribution to the ASEAN and G20 is the largest economy in South-East Asia. The World Bank recorded that the Indonesian GDP last year was 868,346 million, or the 16th largest in the world, while the Indonesian GDP based on Power Purchase Parity (PPP) was 2,388,413 million, or the 9th largest in the world, surpassing the United Kingdom and Italy. The World Bank also projected the Indonesian GDP growth to be 5.8% last year. This is one of the fastest in Asia-Pacific in the midst of global economic downturn, and is the second fastest in the G20, only surpassed by China with the growth of 7.7%. This demonstrates the fact that Indonesia managed to withstand global recession to sustain its robust economic growth. In the future, the IMF predicted that the Indonesian nominal GDP will reach more than one trillion dollar in 2017, and as an emerging market McKinsey Global Institute believed that Indonesia will surpass Germany and the United Kingdom in 2030.

This achievement will not only benefit the people of Indonesia, but also the people of Bangladesh. Indonesia and Bangladesh have a long history of close bilateral cooperation. Indonesia was one of the first countries who recognized the independence of Bangladesh on 25 February 1972 and one of the first who established diplomatic relations, which was subsequently followed by the establishment of the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Dhaka on May 1, 1972. Since that date, the bilateral relations between Indonesia and Bangladesh continue to strengthen in every sector, as Indonesia considers Bangladesh as one of its major trade partner in South Asia. The two countries are active in the Non-Aligned Movement, Organization of Islamic Countries, D-8, ASEAN Regional Forum, CIRDAP, and other international organizations inside or outside the United Nations. Both countries also have a majority of Muslim populations, and as a result have common views on many international and regional issues relating to global peace and security, democracy, terrorism, transnational crime, corruption, good governance, women health, people’s empowerment, food and energy security, poverty and disaster management, and environment.

I believe that in the future, the brotherly relations between Indonesia and Bangladesh will continue to strengthen, with particular emphasis to bilateral economic partnership. Since the trade balance is still in favor to Indonesia, I would also like to use this opportunity to invite more Bangladeshi businessmen to invest in Indonesia for the mutual benefit of the two brotherly countries. Indonesia is regarded as an emerging market with huge labor force and stationary population pyramid. As a result, Indonesia has huge market potentials for Bangladeshi products and investment.

Indonesia is also committed to the importance of education. Consequently, every year the Indonesian government offers scholarship programs to Bangladeshi youths, such as the one-year non-degree program of Darmasiswa RI scholarship, three years Master Degree program scholarship in the framework of Developing Countries Partnership, and full scholarship for Bachelor, Master and Doctoral Degree Programs on Islamic Study. I sincerely hope that more Bangladeshi would benefit from this opportunity and that this program will continue to enhance the mutual understanding between the two brotherly countries.

In conclusion, I hope that the two brotherly countries will continue to cooperate constructively to foster our strong bilateral relations and enhance our mutual exchange and cooperation. Ever since I was appointed as the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia for Bangladesh, I am strongly committed to build an increasingly stronger relationship between Indonesia and Bangladesh for the benefits of the two countries and prosperity of the people. May the Almighty Allah blesses the people of Indonesia and Bangladesh so that the two countries will enjoy long-lasting prosperity and happiness.

Wassalamu’alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh

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