Jakarta: Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno L. P. Marsudi held a bilateral meeting with Surinamese Foreign Minister Y.M. Yldiz Deborah Pollack-Beighle in Paramaribo, Suriname on Monday, May 20, 2019.
“Indonesia and Suriname agree to strengthen their economic partnership," the Indonesian top diplomat said in a press statement released on Tuesday, May 21, 2019
Minister Marsudi's visit to Suriname was the first full-fledge of Indonesian Foreign Minister to Suriname within the last 26 years. She also paid a honorary visit to Surinamese President Desire Delano Bouterse.
Indonesia has a special historical and cultural relationship with Suriname. Javanese people and their language are parts of Suriname.
“The special historical and cultural relationship will make Indonesia and Suriname strengthen their bilateral partnership in various aspects, especially economy and development," she affirmed.
A number of aspects in economic partnership that will be boosted by both countries include the infrastructure development, mining, energy, Islamic banking development, and farming, especially related to artificial insemination.
“Indonesia expressed its interest to participate in the infrastructure development projects in Suriname, including those funded by the Islamic Development Bank," she explained.
In attempt to make full use of the opportunities, Indonesian business delegates had visited Suriname in March 2019. They considered a number of partnership sectors, including gold mining, city development, and solar panel development for housing.
Indonesia also affirmed its commitment to help Suriname in developing the Islamic banks. Bank Indonesia had appointed a special team to facilitate a training related to Islamic banking regulation and supervision in Suriname.
“The Islamic banking sector is part of our potential partnership. In this context, Bank Mandiri Syariah has supported the capacity improvement in risk management and Islamic banking accounting," she stated.
In farming sector, Indonesia is committed to partnering with Suriname in artificial insemination within the South-South Triangular Cooperation framework through Reverse Linkage from the Islamic Development Bank. The Technical Agreement Draft for the partnership will be signed in the first half of 2019.
Aside in the economic sector, Indonesia-Suriname's partnership will also cover the development of Suriname Diplomatic Training Center, the MoU of which was signed in December 2018. In March 2019, Indonesia delivered its team to share its experiences in developing the diplomatic education and training.
During the visit, both countries also signed a short-visit visa-free agreement for the ordinary?? passport holders. It was the only agreement that summed up the matters of diplomatic, official, and ordinary passport holders in one form of agreement. The agreement and the special historical and cultural relationship between both countries are expected to strengthen their people-to-people contact.