The Jakarta Post
Indonesian ambassador-designate to Ukraine, Armenia and Georgia, Yuddy Chrisnandi, seeks to increase cooperation in trade and investments when he is cleared to serve next year, citing massive unexplored potential in the three countries.
Despite the uncertainty posed by Russia's occupation of Crimea, growing separatist sentiment at its borders and the ensuing instability of the Ukrainian economy, Yuddy said he believes there is much to gain from enhanced relations with Kiev.
"Ukraine is the future of East-West ties; it is the second largest country in Eastern Europe behind Russia, and its extraordinary potential has yet to be maximized," Yuddy told reporters after a closed-door vetting process at the Senayan legislative complex in Jakarta on Wednesday.
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Two-way investments are still at the bare minimum, despite Ukraine being one of the largest producers of iron ore, manganese and natural gases in the world, he claims.
The former Administrative and Bureaucratic Reforms minister also aims to diversify Indonesia's export portfolio to include pharmaceuticals, textile products and furniture. At the moment, almost 90 percent of Indonesian exports to Ukraine are comprised of palm oil and its derivatives, he said.
The Hanura Party politician also aims to further promote Indonesia in order to increase the number of inbound tourists from the three neighboring countries, collectively home to more than 52 million people.
"There are currently about 9,000 people visiting Indonesia annually from those countries. Hopefully we can promote Indonesia as a travel destination and attract more tourists," he said. (hwa)