Interview: Indonesia-China's cooperation in economy, social, culture to be enhanced in future

08:18, April 13, 2010      

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As diplomatic ties between Indonesia and China is entering its 60th anniversary on April 13, it is expected that the two sides will enhance cooperation in economy, society and culture, said Sukamdani Sahid Gitosardjono, the President of the Association of Indonesia-China Economic, Social and Culture.

"The two countries should not only maintain good relationship in the economic field, but also in the social and cultural fields, " Sukamdani said, adding "because education, science and technology is for brain while culture is for strengthening nation' s character."

Sukamdani also said that both countries should have a technology transfer to increase people's welfare.

He said that Indonesia must learn a lot from China in technology as the latter is more advanced in this sector.

"Currently, we can't live without technology. We are an archipelago country that needs a lot of ships. In the other side, China has an extra ordinary shipping technology. In airplane industry, China is moving forward. Now, it can make airplane," said Sukamdani, adding that the cooperation must be programmed and for a long time.

He also said that Indonesia must increase industrialization in real sector, especially in agriculture sector, as the country has difficulty to create more jobs."And China has a lot of experiences on it (that we could learn from)," said Sukamdani.

Sukamdani said that a tighter cooperation would make both countries go forward together. He took examples of cooperation that could bring benefit from both countries.

"In China, small power stations with generating capacity of 350 megawatts are no longer available, as now it needs at least 650 megawatts. They could send the ineffective equipment to Indonesia. On the other hand, Indonesia has commodity of crude palm oil that received in China with no limitation. And, we could export more coal to China as the country strongly needs the commodity for its power plants," Sukamdani said.

He said that China has advanced automotive technologies that managed to supply domestic and export demand, competing with the United States and Japan. "With such advanced technologies, Indonesia could ask China to build automotive factories in our country," he said.

He also said that hopefully China will have programs to empower small entrepreneurs in Indonesia, so that both countries' friendship could be eternal.

Commenting on ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA), Sukamdani said that all parties must honor the accord as it had been formally signed.

Sukamdani said that he received the title of Friendship Ambassador from the Chinese government in 1994. The title was given because of his good service in recovering direct trade ties.

The direct trade ties was initiated by Sukamdani when goods from both sides kept flowing to each country through the third economies, such as Singapore, China's Hong Kong and Japan.

"China's economy has been growing so fast since the country launched the reform and opening-up policy," he said.

According to Sukamdani, before direct trade ties between the two countries, the value of bilateral trade between China and Indonesia was only 223 million U.S. dollars annually. But right now, the amount reached 1.4 billion U.S. dollars. Both countries expected to achieve a 30 billion dollars of trade value in 2010 and 50 billion dollars in 2014.

Sukamdani was very proud of his contribution as a pioneer to achieve recovery of relationship between China and Indonesia. He called himself not only a merchant but also a "soldier" that brought success to his own country.



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