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Indonesia's 65th anniversary marks a new era of friendship

Updated: Jun 6

Indonesian Ambassador to Cambodia, Santo Darmosumarto, speaks with Hong Raksmey of The Post in an interview at the Indonesian Embassy in Phnom Penh on March 4.

Indonesia and Cambodia will take their cooperation to the next level in 2024, as the two countries celebrate 65 years of diplomatic relations.

To mark the celebration, Indonesia's Ambassador to Cambodia, Santo Darmosumarto, has announced a series of events and initiatives aimed at boosting economic, cultural, tourism and people-to-people ties between the two countries.

“This year marks a new level of cooperation between Indonesia and Cambodia,” he told The Post, “The various initiatives planned throughout 2024 aim to build on this foundation, ensuring a strong and dynamic partnership that benefits both countries.”

Trade between Indonesia and Cambodia surges past the US$1 billion mark by 2023, making Indonesia Cambodia's sixth largest trading partner. This remarkable growth is due to strategic initiatives that drive strong economic ties.

The 2024 celebrations will kick off in June with the Indonesia Health Fest in Sihanoukville, which will feature joint exercise classes, health forums and free health checks.

Scheduled for June 8-9 at the Prince Times Hotel in Sihanoukville, the event aims to promote health and wellness among Indonesians and Cambodians.

“The activities include sports classes, health forums with speakers from the government and free health checks,” Darmosumarto said.

In late June, the Indonesian Embassy will also carry out special activities at the Indonesia-Cambodia Friendship School, which was established in 1997 in Prey Veng province.

These activities include the renovation and improvement of school facilities, supported by funds raised from Indonesian businessmen in Cambodia.

A traditional Indonesian performance celebrating 60 years of Indonesia-Cambodia friendship at Chaktomuk Theater in 2019.

The school is a kindergarten, elementary and junior high school that houses several hundred students.

“Hopefully, towards the end of June, we will have a ceremony attended by, of course, the governor of Prey Veng province as well, where we hope to showcase and open or inaugurate some of the renovations that have been done at the school,” the ambassador said.

“Our goal is to create stronger people-to-people relations and stronger people-to-people ties between Indonesia and Cambodia,” he added.

In addition to the Health Festival and school renovations, the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia has also planned a major exhibition, “Sousdey Indonesia” in Phnom Penh on September 13-14.

“This will be the biggest exhibition ever held in Cambodia, featuring around 100 booths of Indonesian products and services, such as education and tourism promotion, aimed at Cambodian consumers, distributors and importers,” Darmosumarto said.

The Sousdey Indonesia event is one of the many activities being held for the first time as diplomatic relations between the two countries improve.

“Of course, we will try to find activities that have not yet been carried out, to be completed next year,” the ambassador said.

"We want to do more things outside Phnom Penh. I think the people of the capital are already spoiled enough with the many activities here,” he added.

Darmosumarto said that it would be great to do more, perhaps in Siem Reap or Battambang province, or even up to Poipet or other provinces away from Phnom Penh.

This will be followed by a trade fair in Jakarta on October 12, which aims to encourage Cambodian businesspeople to explore trade opportunities with Indonesia.



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