New foreign envoys submit

President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono received letter of credence from new envoys from Ecuador, Panama, Thailand and New Zealand on Monday at the State Palace in Jakarta.

The President met the ambassadors one at a time starting from 10 in the morning, Antara news agency reported.

Yudhoyono received the first letter of the day from Ecuadorian Ambasador Eduardo Alberto Calderón Ledesma, who was then followed by Panama’s Rosemary Suceth de Leon de Ramirez, Thailand’s Thanatip Upatising and New Zealand’s David Taylor.

Each ambassador was greeted with a ceremony and their national anthems.

Born on Dec. 19 1955, Ledesma began his career at the Ecuadorian Foreign Ministry in August 1975.

Ledesma, who speaks English and French, served as chargé d’ affaires of Ecuador to the United Nations in New York, chargé d’ affaires of Ecuador in Spain and minister of the Ecuador Embassy in Canada.

Indonesia and Ecuador have enjoyed robust trade growths in recent years, with both countries competing in fish trade. Ecuador is the leading supplier of canned tuna to the EU, where its products are not subject to import tariffs.

Upatising, who will celebrate his 50th anniversary on July 15, joined the Thai Foreign Ministry in 1986.
He previously served as ambassador at Thailand’s office of permanent secretary.

Upatising, who speaks fluent English, has extensive experience in international negotiations.

He represented the Thai government in the Cambodian peace talks, was involved in solving the issue of permit entry for Thai businessmen to Madagascar as well as tax reduction on gem stones and was also a key organizer of several international meetings in Thailand and abroad.

Despite Thailand’s current troubled political situation, bilateral ties between it and Indonesia continue to improve, with both supporting each other on regional and global issues in ASEAN and other multilateral organizations.

Taylor was previously director of the Americas division at the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade and the director of the Asia division before being assigned to New Zealand ambassador to Indonesia and ASEAN.

Taylor, who began his career in 1983, was also New Zealand’s ambassador to South Korea between 2002 and 2006, and has been New Zealand’s chief negotiator for climate change and other environmental issues, and has also had diplomatic assignments in Kuala Lumpur, Malayasia, and Washington, the United States, and Suva in Fiji.

Taylor, who enjoys golf, reading, skiing, squash, listening to music and watching films, earned a bachelor’s degrees in law and history from the University of Otago.

Indonesia and New Zealand have been economic and trade partners for so long that there is no more significant partner for New Zealand in this region, experts and officials have said.

Indonesia was New Zealand’s seventh largest export market for the year ending June 2009. In that period trade between the two countries was worth more than US$1.5 billion. Indonesia is New Zealand’s largest trading partner in ASEAN.

Post Your Say

Selected comments will be published in the Readers’ Forum page of our print newspaper.