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  • Writer's pictureIn Chhayleng

Lessons as out-going Indonesian Ambassador bids farewell to PM Hun Sen

Prime Minister Hun Sen of Cambodia received a farewell visit from Sudirman Haseng, the out-going Indonesian Ambassador to Cambodia recently.

During the visit, Ambassador Sudirman thanked the Cambodian Government for naming two streets in Phnom Penh after two former Indonesian state men – Sukarno and Ali Alatas – reflecting the close friendship between the two countries. He also gave thanks for assistance to Indonesian nationals living in Cambodia, especially with their vaccinations against Covid-19.

“I trust that this street naming Sukarno and Ali Alatas streets will give pride to the Indonesian people and will promote bilateral cooperation to new heights and a step further for mutually beneficial cooperation, which will inspire Indonesia’s young generation to learn more about our friend, Cambodia,” he said.

Ambassador Sudirman also said that the outgoing diplomat observed peace, stability and rapid progress across all domains in Cambodia during his diplomatic mission over more than 4 years.

He expressed his deep appreciation and sincere gratitude for the assistance and protection that has been given to Indonesian citizens working and doing business in Cambodia. He said they can develop their business in safety and comfort.

“On investment cooperation, I hope that Indonesian companies can share their expertise and capabilities, in areas such as road and transportation infrastructure including the mass transit railway system for Phnom Penh. Therefore, I hope the Cambodian government can provide in-depth data regarding these important projects so that Indonesia can support the development of Cambodia,” he said.

Ambassador Sudirman Haseng with the Royal Order of Sahametrel Grand Officer presented to him by the Royal Government of Cambodia. Photo/Courtesy of Indonesian Embassy, Cambodia

The prime minister thanked the Indonesian side for the congratulations, stressing that successfully hosting The Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) Summits and related meetings was inseparable from the close cooperation with Indonesia and other friendly countries.

The out-going ambassador appreciated Indonesian backing for Timor-Leste’s application to become a member of ASEAN, believing that the island country can join the community’s summits as soon as this year.

Mr Hun Sen recalled key contributions Sukarno and Ali Alatas made to enhance bilateral relations between Cambodia and Indonesia, especially to assist with the Kingdom’s peace-seeking process.

Indonesia supplied humanitarian aid for victims of natural disasters (distributed through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation, the provincial government of Banteay Meanchey and the Mudhita Foundation); assistance to various schools, through Indonesian community associations including schools in Kampong Cham Province and an orphanage in Tboung Khmum Province. Development of good peer-to-peer relations between Muslim community leaders in both countries was also enhanced.

The ambassador actively encouraged the development and expansion of cooperation in the field of defence and security between Indonesia and Cambodia through exchanges between military officers, including capacity building and training in the military field for personnel of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF).

On the cultural front, in 2018, Indonesia brought 20 dancers from Cambodia to join the Panji-Inao Festival. The Indonesian government also gave a lift to Cambodian human development, sponsoring scholarship studies in Indonesia.

A Memorandum of Understanding on Tourism Cooperation was signed on 18 January, 2022 during the ASEAN Tourism Forum in Sihanoukville. Also, “Army to Army Talk” saw five Royal Cambodian Army (RCAF) personnel join the Indonesian Army for military education in Indonesia during the summer of 2022.

In Jakarta, business relations got a boost from a seminar, “Cambodia – An Overlooked Destination for Investment and Business” in October 2022. The seminar was sponsored in cooperation with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Its main objective was to discover business opportunities in Cambodia for Indonesian investors.

The trade balance between Indonesia and Cambodia in 2017-2021 increased by 1.90npercent from $542.2 million to $580.4 million. Between 2017 and 2021 there was a 15.8 percent increase of exports from Cambodia to Indonesia, from $28.3 million to $49.3 million.



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