Thursday, July 25, 2024

State visit of King Willem-Alexander strengthens long lasting friendship between The Netherlands and Indonesia

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H.E. Mr I Gusti Wesaka Puja, Ambassador of Indonesia. Photography by A. Lutter.

By Anton Lutter.

Already a quarter of a century ago Queen Beatrix accompanied with, then crownprince, Willem-Alexander, visited Indonesia. Next week for the third time a Dutch sovereign will be on a state visit to the Republic of Indonesia, economic superpower and one of the largest democracies in the world.

A large delegation from the Dutch business community will also travel to Indonesia. The Ambassador of Indonesia H.E. I Gusti Agung Wesaka Puja hosted a lunch for them in a pre-departure event. Among the many high-level guests were representatives of the Royal Household, VNO-NCW, Indonesia Nederland Society, Ministry of Foreign Affairs and many others.

Ambassador Puja’s speech focused on the ties that both our countries binds:

“The relations between Indonesia and The Netherlands remain excellent. We have had major trade and business delegations headed by yours truly, the Prime Minister Mark Rutte for numerous occasions and a working visit by Indonesia led by President Joko Widodo in April 2016. This time the state visit by His Majesty the King would bear a very significant and historical moment for both Indonesia and The Netherlands. This is one of the most culminating highlights in the ever-existing friendly relations between Indonesia and The Netherlands since the last state visit of Queen Beatrix to Indonesia 25 years ago.”

“Many things have changed in the course of 25 years. As for Indonesia,” the ambassador continues, “our history ran from one chapter to another. A lot of reforms in Indonesia have been made. We have made a transformational course from the brink of economic collapse towards growing to an over one trillion-dollar economy. This shows the resilience of our people and how we bring ourselves to be able to grow this fast and quite so far.”

Today Indonesia is one of the ASEAN Countries with the highest industry-to-GDP ratio, has a stable economic growth with an average of 5.2% annually at a projected period from 2020 to 2024 and a triple B rating on the investment status. Next to that Indonesia has been reforming its laws, policies and regulations to boost foreign investments and ease of doing business. 

“In the course of 25 years since the last state visit, the relations between Indonesia and The Netherlands have matured, has endured the test of time and has brought our two-peoples linkages even closer. Yes, our relation is unique because our history is interwoven. Yet, we have brought our uniqueness to complement one another and bring mutual benefits to our own people.” Ambassador Puja ended his speech with wise words considering the future of Dutch-Indonesian relations after the state visit: “There’s a proverb, “you reap what you sow”. There is nothing more to say”.

The wonderful lunch consisted of a variety of dishes from the islands which will be visited by their Majesties: Java, Kalimantan and Sumatera. Next to that movies showcasing Indonesia’s economic development as well as the plans for a new capital city where shown to the public.

Pianist Patrick Wijnhamer and violinist Drummado Wijnhaver, musicians of Dutch-Indonesian descent, gave an excellent performance of various classical pieces, making the pre-departure event “seize your opportunity in Indonesia” a successful affair.

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