Bali, April 10, 2018: "Indonesia-Africa Forum is the embodiment of the commitment of Indonesia and African countries to advance and prosper together and become the first forum, where Africa and Indonesia can meet and discuss concrete cooperation involving various stakeholders,"said Indonesian Minister for Foreign Affairs in its report during the opening speech of the Indonesia-Africa Forum 2018 (IAF 2018), at Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center, Denpasar.
Minister for Foreign Affairs hoped that the IAF event can be maximally utilized to explore more potential cooperation that will benefit Indonesia-Africa in order to achieve mutual prosperity. "This time for Africa", said Indonesian Foreign Minister firmly.
The first-ever IAF 2018 event on the theme "Developing Sustainable Economic and Investment Cooperation" was officially opened by Vice President, Jusuf Kalla. The event was attended by over 500 participants including 240 delegates from 46 African countries, International Organizations and Development Partners. While from Indonesia, about 200 people were present from the government, private sector, and business players. In the opening of the IAF 2018, RI Coordinating Minister for Home Affairs, Minister for Trade, and Minister for Foreign Affairs were also present.
"Let's hand in hand in strengthening the relations between Indonesia and Africa and to build a just and prosperous world together," said the Vice President in his keynote speech at the opening session of the IAF 2018.
The series of the IAF 2018 meeting programs will include discussion forums, industry fairs, and business deals. On the sidelines of the meeting there will also be a number of bilateral meetings between Indonesia and African countries.
In his opening speech, Vice President expressed his hope that the forum will be able to establish real economic cooperation, in various fields and continue to map cooperation in infrastructure, strategic industries, and financing facilities.
Currently, Indonesia needs oil, cotton, and cocoa beans from Africa. While Africa requires palm oil, motor vehicles, and instant noodles from Indonesia. In the field of investment, more than 30 companies in the fields of pharmaceuticals, textiles, energy and others, operating in Africa.
IAF 2018 is ashowcaseof concrete economic cooperation between Indonesia and African countries to translate the political and historical closeness of Indonesia-Africa into a close and tangible economic cooperation. The closeness of Indonesia and Africa has historically begun since the Asian-African Conference (1955) continued with theNon-Alignment Movement(1965), New Asian-African Partnership (2005), and 60th Commemoration of Asia-Africa Conference (2015).
During the IAF 2018 event, there are business deals worth USD 586.56 million, and Indonesia also expressed its commitment to strengthen cooperation with Africa, among others, through the enhancement of technical cooperation and capacity building to Africa region; improvement of scholarship cooperation, development of competitive export credit facilities, increased connectivity cooperation, and exploring trade agreements through the establishment of Preferential Trade Agreement. In addition, in the next year as an effort to follow up the IAF 2018 meeting, there is a plan to hold Indonesia-Africa Infrastructure Dialogue in August/September 2019.
The meeting will also discuss the potential and opportunities of cooperation between the two countries, such as the cooperation in food security, creative and digital economy, energy, and construction, and action steps to realize the possibility of cooperation programs that have not been explored so far.
The value of RI-Africa Trade in 2017 was USD 4.86 billion in export value and USD 3.97 billion in import value of. With a surplus trade balance for RI of USD 887.28 million and an upward trend of 15.25% from 2016.
The main export commodities of RI to Africa, among others, are palm oil, processed food and beverages, soaps, paper, garments, motor vehicles and spare parts. Meanwhile, Indonesia's main import commodities from Africa are petroleum, cotton, cocoa beans, pulp, and chemicals for fertilizers and industries. (source: Dit. of Infomed / Ministry of Foreign Affairs / DS)