20 years of friendship: Belarus President Lukashenko to visit RI to boost ties
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Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko would be arriving in Jakarta on Monday on a three-day state visit to Indonesia, a Belarus envoy said on Sunday.
“Our president will be arriving in Jakarta on Monday to enhance cooperation in all important segments of relations between the two countries. President Lukashenko will be bringing an 80-member delegation, mostly executives of Belarus companies and officials,” Belarus Ambassador to Indonesia Vladimir Lopato-Zagorsky told The Jakarta Post on Sunday.
Meanwhile Indonesian presidential spokesperson on international affairs Teuku Faizasyah said that Belarus President Lukashenko would meet President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono on Tuesday and discuss ways to enhance economic cooperation.
“Both leaders will discuss joint efforts to enhance cooperation in the fields of agriculture, science and technology,” said in a press release on Friday, adding that the visit was arranged to mark the 20 years of establishment of diplomatic relations.
Echoing Faizasyah, Ambassador Lopato-Zagorsky said that the main purpose of the visit was to take the relations to a higher level. “Both countries will sign seven bilateral agreements regarding enhancing cooperation in trade and economic fields, legal matters, science and technology, agriculture and several other areas,” Lopato-Zagorsky said.
On Tuesday, Belarus Deputy Prime Minister Vladimir I. Semashko will address a business forum in Jakarta.
“Business leaders of Belarus’ top companies of tractors, mining, potash and agriculture as well as members of the State Military Committee will attend the business forum and meet their Indonesian counterparts to explore business and investment opportunities,” Zagorsky said.
Belarus, an Eastern European country sandwiched between Russia and the European Union (EU), produces 10 percent of the world’s tractors. Its major exports are potash and nitrogen fertilizers, rolled steel, metal cord, mining equipment, trucks, tractors, chemical fibres, tires, yarn, dairy and meat products.
Indonesia has already been importing potassium fertilizer, mining equipment and super tires (for the mining industry’s heavy vehicles) from Belarus.
In 2012, bilateral trade, according to Indonesia’s Central Statistics Agency, decreased by 44 percent to US$90 64 million down on a record high of $163.03 million in 2011. According to Belarus, the bilateral trade in 2011 was $220 million.
Belarus, a land-locked country, is also well known for its advanced military equipment and weapons as well as refinery industry. With a population of 9.5 million, Belarus will offer many opportunities for Indonesian businesses. Its geostrategic position and membership in the customs union with Russia and Kazakhstan will be an added attraction.
Minsk opened its embassy in Jakarta in June 2012 while Jakarta covers Belarus through its embassy in Russia.