Indonesia-New Zealand Friendship Council initiates diplomacy from grassroots level

Jakarta, Feb 14 (ANTARA News) - The Indonesia-New Zealand Friendship Council initiated a forum titled "Sustaining the Spirit of Collaboration" in Jakarta, Thursday, as a grassroots diplomacy effort.

"This forum is devoted to the millennial generation, as a second-track diplomacy, which is not at the inter-governmental level. At this forum, citizens of Indonesia and New Zealand can discuss and conduct diplomacy. This is what we want to improve," Chairman of the Indonesia-New Zealand Friendship Council Indradi Soemardjan emphasized.

During the forum supported by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the New Zealand Embassy, several relevant topics on cooperation were discussed between the two countries, such as sustainable agriculture, cultural arts, and technology and innovation.

Indi organized the forum as a venue for sharing and collaboration, especially between businesspersons and members of civil society.

Most speakers at the "Sustaining the Spirit of Collaboration" forum are Indonesian citizens, who have studied in New Zealand or have collaborated in certain fields with New Zealands institutions.

Indi believes there is much to be learnt from New Zealand, such as the countrys ability to manage agriculture and sustainable food.

"New Zealand has only some four million people but can produce food for 40 million people. Their expertise will be very beneficial for Indonesia, with even more residents," he stated.

With over six decades of diplomatic relations, Indonesia and New Zealand have achieved varied progress in bilateral cooperation.

The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs Director General of Asia-Pacific and Africa Desra Percaya remarked that the two countries bilateral trade had increased to two billion New Zealand dollars, or around Rp19.25 trillion in 2018, from 1.76 billion New Zealand dollars, or Rp17.6 trillion in 2017.

"The number of tourists and frequency of commercial flights between Auckland and Denpasar also increased," Percaya noted.

In addition, cooperation between Indonesian universities and New Zealands educational institutions and research centers is increasing, including in the areas of agriculture and disaster management.

According to Percaya, this achievement is not only supported by partnerships between the two countries but also sound cooperation between businesspersons and civil society.

"The Indonesia-New Zealand community is a reflection of our relationship as friends for good," Percaya stated.

Source: ANTARA News

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