His Excellency Handriyo Kusumo Priyo, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to Brunei Darussalam
MY BRUNEIAN brothers and my fellow Indonesians staying and working in Brunei Darussalam. Assalamu'alaikum Warahmatullahi Wabarakatuh. Today, all Indonesians around the world are celebrating the 67th Anniversary of Indonesia's Independence. Indonesia gained the Independence on Friday, August 17, 1945, or 9 Ramadhan 1364 Hijrah, and today's celebration falls on Friday, 28 Ramadhan 1433 Hijrah.
The celebration mode is also shared by Indonesians staying and working here in Brunei Darussalam. Some sport and charity events have been held since early July in celebrating this glorious day. We warmly welcome participation from our Bruneian brothers in some of the sport events, like volley ball, badminton, golf and tennis. We have also held a religious event, Khatam al-Quran, in commemorating this joyful day. With the cooperation from RIPAS Hospital, we also held a blood-donation event at the Embassy of Indonesia's compound. All of these events symbolise the spirit of friendship and brotherhood between the Governments and Peoples of Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia.
In its 67 years as a sovereign nation, Indonesia is now enjoying progress in many fields. Indonesia is now the world's 3rd largest democracy and one of the most stable countries in Asia. The legislative, judicative and executive branches are functioning well and independently. National developments have been marked by a greater decentralisation and autonomy to provinces and municipalities.
In economic term, our economy grew by 6,2 per cent in 2010 and rose to 6,5 per cent in 2011. For the 1st Semester of 2012, the economic growth reaches 6,4 per cent, and it is expected to reach at least 6,5 per cent by the end of 2012. In the year 2000, Indonesia's per capita income was US$ 780, and it rose remarkably to US$ 3.540 in 2011.
In spite of all success stories and achievements, we are aware of that there are still many obstacles and challenges ahead. We must take this opportune celebration to redefine and reaffirm the real essence of being independent.
Being independent is more than just free from oppression, but we also have to give high value to independence as courage to work together and harder as one Nation to overcome all obstacles and challenges. Our independence serves as a bridge to realise a just, prosperous and dignified Indonesia. Independence is also a call to work together in partnership with other nations for a better world.
Turn into bilateral relations with Brunei Darussalam, we have opened our diplomatic relations with Brunei Darussalam since January 1, 1984, soon after Brunei Darussalam's independence. Under the auspices and guidance of His Majesty, the bilateral relations and friendship between the Government and people of Brunei Darussalam and Indonesia have always been strengthened for the benefit of both countries from time to time. One indicator of the excellent relations is growing exchange of visits by Government's officials, parliamentarians, and private sectors of both countries.
Last year His Majesty the Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam attended the 18th ASEAN Summit in Jakarta on May 7-8, 2011 and the 19th ASEAN Summit in Bali on November 17-19, 2011. His Majesty also visited Indonesia on December 8-9, 2011 to attend the Bali Democracy Forum IV in Bali. God Willing, His Majesty will again attend the Bali Democracy Forum V in November. Bali Democracy Forum is a forum that is aimed at fostering democratic capacity and institutions through intra-state discussion
In international relations, Indonesia puts ASEAN cooperation as one of main pillars of its foreign policy. It is Indonesia's national interest to see a stable, peaceful Southeast Asian region, and to that reason Indonesia underlines the importance of the ASEAN Way of dialogues, consultation, and consensus to deal with all the challenges ahead. Last month's shuttle diplomacy by Indonesia's Foreign Minister Dr RM Marty M Natalegawa to rally unity among ASEAN member states following recent development in the region has given proof of Indonesia's commitment to a solid and unified ASEAN.
Next year, Brunei Darussalam will be the Chairman of ASEAN and Indonesia will fully support Brunei Darussalam's Chairmanship of the alliance. Indonesia is of belief that Brunei Darussalam as the Chairman of ASEAN will be able to lead ASEAN closer to the realisation of an ASEAN Community in 2015. We share His Majesty's reaffirmation of Brunei's readiness and commitment in promoting principles, values and common understandings that have shaped ASEAN's work over the past 45 years.
In economic field, trade volume between the two countries in 2011 has reached US$ 1,100,080,700, and around 3,497 items of Indonesian goods are traded in Brunei market. Although presenting quite positive signs, these figures are still far from the potential and opportunities the two countries have. Many things still need to be done by both countries to further maximise economic cooperation. During his official visit to Brunei Darussalam on February 24-25, 2011, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has encouraged Brunei and Indonesia to further strengthen economic cooperation, mainly in trade and investment. President Yudhoyono invited Brunei's private sector to invest in Indonesia.
Other sign of excellent bilateral cooperation is the defence cooperation. For example, in March 2012, we have seen two Indonesian navy ships came to Brunei and held a joint exercise with their counterparts from the Brunei Royal Navy. There have been also exchanges of visits and trainings between the two armed forces.
Today, around 58 thousands Indonesian citizens are staying and working in Brunei Darussalam, and on this occasion, I would like to remind us all to live in harmony with our Bruneian brothers, obey all rules and regulations, and respect local culture. We are indeed grateful to His Majesty, the Government and the People of Brunei Darussalam for the opportunities given to Indonesian citizens to make their living here in Brunei.
I am of the view that the bilateral relations and cooperation between the two Nations will always flourish in the future for our common benefit.
Finally, I would like to extend my utmost felicitation and best regards to my fellow Indonesians on this glorious Independence Day. May Allah the Almighty bless us always. Amin. Courtesy of Indonesian Embassy
Friday, August 17, 2012
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