An Indonesian foreign affairs official says Indonesia’s relations with the Pacific need to broaden from being solely government-driven to involve the private sector and business community, academia and media.
Writing in the Jakarta Post, the director for intra-regional cooperation in Asia Pacific and Africa at the Foreign Affairs Ministry, Arto Suryodipuro says Indonesia has several layers of interest in the Pacific;
- Indonesia is strengthening relations with all its neighbours in order to ensure a stable and productive neighbourhood
- Indonesia has bilateral diplomatic relations with 15 Pacific Island countries and is in the process of establishing diplomatic ties with Kiribati, Tuvalu and Nauru. It is also strengthening relations with the Melanesian Spearhead Group, through the Southwest Pacific Dialogue and through the Coral Triangle Initiative
- Indonesia’s eastern provinces share common geographic location, biogeography and ecosystems, plus cultural and ethnic similarities with the Pacific Islands. They share challenges such as natural disasters, food security and connectivity and economies of scale.
Indonesia’s foreign minister Marty Natalegawa is meeting Pacific Islands Forum members in New Zealand today during the PIF’s dialogue partners meeting. Other Asian countries participating are China, India, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, the Philippines and Thailand.