RI, Germany create advisory
group to boost relations

Indonesia and Germany have agreed to set up an advisory group aimed at enhancing ties between the two countries.

Indonesian Ambassador to Germany, Eddy Pratomo, said on Wednesday that the group, which was established during President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono’s recent state visit to Germany, would provide the two governments with recommendations and initiatives on how to strengthen business and personal contacts.

“The advisory group is being established to strengthen the partnership between Indonesia and Germany as laid out in the Jakarta Declaration. We are translating the partnership framework into solid action,” said Eddy.

The advisory group is expected to explore more cooperation opportunities based on mutual benefits for the two countries. The group consists of eminent persons from private entities in the two countries, including businessmen, technocrats and religious leaders.

Eddy said that relations between Indonesia and Germany were currently undergoing a honeymoon period due to frequent meetings between the leaders of the two countries during the last two years.

“Our ties became close after former president Habibie's administration. It is in German interests to improve ties with Indonesia, the biggest country in ASEAN, and we also need Germany, the largest country in Europe. We share the same strategic interests,” said Eddy.

Indonesia has enjoyed a close relationship with Germany for many years since B.J.Habibie was a Cabinet minister, and then went on to become vice president and president. President Yudhoyono began to reestablish the relationship when he made his first state visit to Germany in 2009, followed by this most recent visit this year.

In December 2011, former German president Christian Wulff visited Indonesia, followed by German Chancellor Angela Merkel the following year. The chancellor’s visit to Jakarta in July 2012 was perceived as a sign that Indonesian-German relations were heading in the right direction.

The two governments signed a Joint Declaration for Comprehensive Partnership: Shaping Globalization and Sharing Responsibility to mark the 60th anniversary of diplomatic ties between the two countries. The declaration covers bilateral cooperation across several areas, including defense.

During his most recent visit to Germany, Yudhoyono and Angela Merkel discussed potential further cooperation in sectors including energy, transportation and water.

“Germany has expertise in transportation management and we have discussed the possibility of their helping us in that area,” said Eddy. (ebf)

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