The Jakarta Post
Indonesian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Dian Triansyah Djani and his counterpart from Barbados, an island nation in the eastern Caribbean, Elizabeth Thompson, on Tuesday in New York signed an agreement to establish diplomatic relations between the two countries.
The agreement makes Barbados the 190th country to have diplomatic relations with Indonesia -- out of a total of 193 UN member states.
"The opening of diplomatic relations will further strengthen bilateral relations between the two countries in politics, economics and trade, culture. It will also encourage people-to-people contacts," Triansyah said in a press statement.
As a member of the Caribbean Community (CARICOM), a grouping of countries around the Caribbean Sea, Barbados is considered a potential partner for Indonesia, which has been trying to diversify its exports to nontraditional markets, including to Latin American and Caribbean countries.
About 1 million foreign tourists visit Barbados every year, creating another potential area of cooperation between Indonesia and Barbados, Triansyah said.
According to Triansyah, education, maritime affairs and climate change are also potentially items on the two nations' shared agenda.
"Indonesia has invited Barbados to participate in the Archipelagic Islands States [AIS] ministerial meeting and AIS' startup and business summit to be held in Manado, North Sulawesi from Oct. 30 to Nov. 1, given that Barbados has a quite prominent role in marine discussions at the UN," Triansyah said.
The AIS is an Indonesian initiative established in 2018 in collaboration with the UN Development Program.
Barbados has been an active player in combating marine debris. It recently participated in a new UN initiative to manage and eliminate toxic chemicals and waste, called Implementing Sustainable Low and Non-Chemical Development in Small Island Developing States (ISLANDS).
Thompson, according to Triansyah's office, lauded the establishment of diplomatic ties as expanding the chances for the two countries to explore future bilateral cooperation and to further strengthen their collaboration in various global forums. (agn/ipa)