By Ansar Mahmood Bhatti
Though, COVID 19 continues to play havoc with human lives and global economies, nevertheless, simultaneously the damage control efforts are also in full swing to minimize the devastating socio-economic impacts of the pandemic. To contain and fight off the financial downturn the friendly nations through consultations are identifying ways for mutual cooperation for the enhanced sustainable economic activities between them.
The Indonesian embassy in held a media webinar on July 8 inviting leading journalist of the country to express their views about bilateral relations between the two countries and as to how this relationship can further be strengthened. Both Pakistan and Indonesia enjoy excellent relations. These relations witnessed remarkable improvement in the last few years, especially ever since the incumbent Ambassador Iwan S Amri took charge of the office. Since then bilateral relations are constantly on the move.
Iwan S. Amri, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia graced the meeting as the chair and Deny Tri Basuki, Counsellor at the Embassy moderated the webinar. It was a unique interaction between the Indonesia embassy the media fraternity for COVID-19, among other thing, had also limited media’s access to various missions and vice versa. In this backdrop, it was indeed a praiseworthy initiative for which the embassy staff needs kudos.
The Indonesian embassy highly valued warm ties with the friends in Pakistani media and acknowledged the role they have been playing in promoting the goodwill between the people of the two countries. Therefore, the prime objective of this meeting was to maintain cordial relations and to discuss in light manner the COVID 19 pandemic socioeconomic impacts on the society.
It was a good opportunity for the participants to share and discuss thoughts about how friendly countries could help each other in the scope of bilateral trade and economic cooperation to stimulate economic activity and job creation in these testing times of global economic recession.
Participants briefly exchanged ideas and identified the potential areas that both countries should focus and work together to enhance all round cooperation between them.
The Indonesian ambassador believed that the concerted communication and consultations with the various stakeholders in Pakistan will certainly build greater confidence and improve environment for the both countries to uplift business, economic and other aspects of the bilateral ties.
“We would like to encourage and elevate bilateral trade and overall economic cooperation between the two countries that was sustainable, equitable and mutually beneficial corresponding to their respective supply &demand potential,” remarked Ambassador Iwan Amri.
The ambassador also talked about how they managed repatriation of over 180 Indonesian citizens back to Indonesia. The ambassador was all praise for the Pakistani authorities for facilitating the return.
The participants appreciated Indonesian embassy initiative and hoped to continue this practice. Indonesia, like Pakistan is also hit hard by COVID 19 however the Indonesian government is trying hard to cope with this situation. Tourism contribution to Indonesia economy is significant therefore the first and foremost priority of the Indonesian government appears to be opening the tourism sector.
Pakistan and Indonesia are actively engaged in business activities also. Chambers of both countries have held a number of interactions in recent past. The Loin Air of Indonesia is keen to start operations from Pakistan. They want to start flights from three major cities of Pakistan. If materialized, this arrangement will boost tourism as well as business activity between the two countries.
In a nutshell, relations between both brotherly countries are on a positive trajectory and one should hope that these relations will further be strengthened in the days to come.