The Jakarta Post
Turkey's Ambassador to Indonesia, Zekeriya Akcam, said that the bilateral partnership between Indonesia and Turkey had developed very well in various sectors, ranging from education, culture, trade, investment and tourism.
Therefore, he said he hoped that such a flourishing partnership could be maintained and strengthened for the betterment of the two Muslim-majority countries.
"This year we have awarded more than 400 Indonesian students to study in Turkey. We hope that our positive partnership will continue to grow," Akcam said on Wednesday evening when delivering opening remarks during the celebration of the 91st anniversary of the proclamation of the Republic of Turkey at the Ritz Carlton hotel in Mega Kuningan, South Jakarta.
The celebration was attended by two newly-inaugurated ministers of the Cabinet, namely Women's Empowerment and Child Protection Minister Yohana Susana Yembise and Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Susi Pudjiastuti. Former Indonesian foreign minister Alwi Shihab also attended the event.
The value of trade between Indonesia and Turkey reached US$2.8 billion in 2013, up from $1.6 billion in 2012 and $1.3 billion in 2010, according to data provided by Indonesia's Trade Ministry.
Meanwhile, the value of trade between Turkey and Indonesia totaled $1.6 billion from January to July this year.
In August, Indonesia made plans to set up a preferential trade agreement (PTA) with Turkey, aiming to boost the shipment of commodities and push up exports to $2 billion in the near future.
Former Indonesian trade minister Muhammad Lutfi once said that Indonesia considered Turkey as a strategic partner because it was placed at a strategic position that could serve as an export hub to reach out to neighboring countries in Europe.
Currently, palm oil is the top commodity that Indonesia ships to Turkey.
Turkey recognized Indonesia on Dec. 29, 1949 and diplomatic relations were established in 1950. The Turkish Embassy in Jakarta was opened on April 10, 1957. Indonesia has an embassy in Ankara, Turkey's capital city. (alz)
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