INDONESIA: President Joko Widodo continued his series of state visits in Africa on Tuesday (22 Aug), as he met with the President of the United Republic of Tanzania, Samia Suluhu Hassan.
During their meeting, the two heads of state held bilateral discussions to explore various collaborations between the two nations and signed several memoranda of understanding.
In a joint press statement alongside President Samia Suluhu Hassan at the Kikwete Hall complex in Dar Es Salaam State House, President Joko Widodo reiterated the significance of the ‘Spirit of Bandung,’ a concept rooted in the 1955 Asian-African Conference.
“The Bandung Spirit must be reinforced to promote solidarity and collaboration among countries in the global south. It should be continuously strengthened,” Joko Widodo expressed, according to the official YouTube channel of Dar Es Salaam State House, Ikulu Tanzania Channel, on Tuesday afternoon.
President Widodo underscored that the Global South encompasses 85 per cent of the world’s population, emphasizing the importance of their voices being heard.
“The world should listen to the voices and interests of countries in the global south, including the right to pursue developmental leaps,” remarked Joko Widodo.
The term “Global South” refers to nations located in the southern regions of the world, including countries in Africa, Asia (excluding Japan, South Korea, Israel), Latin America, and Oceania.
Exploring key areas of collaboration to enhanced Indonesia-Tanzania relations
During the meeting with President Samia, President Joko Widodo outlined several key areas of discussion.
Firstly, Indonesia proposed the establishment of a preferential trade agreement to further enhance the potential of bilateral trade, which saw a 20.7 per cent increase in 2022.
Secondly, Indonesia expressed its intent to boost investments in Tanzania, including the management of the Mnazi Bay gas block by Indonesian state-owned enterprises, as well as the conversion of natural gas into chemicals and fertilizers.
Joko Widodo emphasized that this cooperation is of strategic importance and will strengthen ties between developing nations.
“Furthermore, I propose the creation of a bilateral investment treaty to ensure the protection and continuity of investments between our two countries,” President Widodo stated.
Thirdly, Indonesia is committed to contributing to Tanzania’s healthcare resilience. This commitment materialized through the export of pharmaceutical products from Indonesian companies to Tanzania, addressing the pharmaceutical needs of the Tanzanian population.
Fourthly, Indonesia pledged to take concrete steps toward collaboration with Africa. President Joko Widodo revealed that Indonesia is finalizing a five-year grand design for Africa’s development.
One aspect of this plan involves the revitalization of the Farmer Agriculture and Rural Training Center in Morogoro, Tanzania.
Indonesia and Tanzania ink seven cooperation accords
According to a press release from the Presidential Secretariat of Indonesia, the governments of Indonesia and Tanzania signed seven cooperation documents.
These documents include a Memorandum of Understanding for the Establishment of a Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation, an Agreement on Visa Exemption for Holders of Diplomatic and Official Passports, a Memorandum of Understanding for Health Cooperation, and a Memorandum of Understanding for Cooperation in the Energy Sector.
Additionally, there are also Memoranda of Understanding regarding Cooperation in the Electricity Sector between Indonesia’s State Electricity Company (PLN) and Tanzania Electric Supply Company (TANESCO), a Memorandum of Understanding between MIND ID and State Mining Corporation (STAMICO) Tanzania, and Memorandum of Understanding regarding Activities related to the Oil and Gas Business Value Chain between Pertamina and Tanzania Petroleum Development Corporation (TPDC).
On the sidelines, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi highlighted that during a private tête-à-tête meeting, President Samia Hassan expressed her eagerness to learn from Indonesia, particularly in the realms of infrastructure development and industrial downstreaming.
“She also expressed interest in learning from Indonesia’s experience in palm oil industry development and state-owned enterprise management,” Minister Marsudi added.
Moreover, Minister Marsudi announced that Presidents Joko Widodo and Samia Hassan agreed to strengthen cooperation in diplomatic training.
“President Jokowi invited a Tanzanian team to Jakarta to exchange ideas on developing diplomatic school curricula,” she affirmed.
Alongside these agreements, the two leaders also affirmed their readiness to commence negotiations on a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) and a Bilateral Investment Treaty (BIT).