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Selamat Datang di Indonesia! Interaction with Indonesian Consul General by KCCI

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Selamat Datang di Indonesia! Interaction with Indonesian Consul General by KCCI

Selamat Datang di Indonesia! (Welcome to Indonesia) Interaction with Indonesian Consul General – Saut Siringoring by Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industry

Mangaluru: Following close on its heels, when Kanara Chamber of Commerce and Industries (KCCI) had an interaction meeting with Ms Jennifer Daubeny- Consul General for South India, Consulate General of Canada, Bengaluru; and Stanly Gomes- Consul and Senior Trade Commissioner (South India), Consulate General of Canada, on 9 March 2017, it arranged yet another interaction evening with Mr Saut Siringoringo-Consul General of the republic of Indonesia, Mumbai along with Josep Sitepu- Consul (Economics) Consulate General of Republic of Indonesia, Mumbai and Walfred Tagor Manikuruk- Director, Indo Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC), Chennai on Friday, 24 March 2017 at 4 pm.

Welcoming the audience, Jeevan Saldanha, President of KCCI said, ” India and Indonesia have shared two millennia of close cultural and commercial contacts. The Hindu, Buddhist and later Muslim faith travelled to Indonesia from the shores of India.The Indonesian folk art and dramas are based on stories from the great epics of Ramayana and Mahabharata.India-Indonesia bilateral trade is at least two millennia old. In fact, trade along with cultural linkages have been the bedrock of the relationship between the biggest countries of South Asia and Southeast Asia, respectively. Close civilizational and historical interconnections, a shared vision on a range of issues, and ethnic and religious commonalities have played a key role in making the two countries complementary to each other in the world community.”

“In the ancient past, the two nations used to trade in spices, timber, minerals, precious stones, cotton and silk. This also helped in the spread of religion and culture. However, in the present context, trade ties have not realised their true potential. Now that both India and Indonesia are increasingly seen as emerging Asian economies, trade and investment complementarity need to be comprehensively explored. Festival of India in Indonesia 2015, ‘Sahabat India’ was inaugurated by H.E. Ms Megawati Soekarnoputri, former President of Indonesia. During the Festival of India, different events such as folk dances, dance drama, puppet show, musical shows, exhibitions, seminars, mall promotions, screening of Bollywood cinema etc. India and Indonesia enjoy a very warm and “strategic partnership” in the region and this has grown by leaps and bounds over the last few years.

“Indonesia has emerged as the largest trading partner of India in the ASEAN region. The volume of annual bilateral trade between India and Indonesia is set to touch a whopping USD 50 billion by 2025 from the present USD 16 billion, as per a vision document prepared by an Eminent Persons Group tasked to identify areas for deeper two-way engagement. There is an exponential growth in inter-connectivity in Indonesia and this is a huge potential market for Indian investors in this sector. Indonesia offers huge potential and opportunity in the automobile sector, textiles, engineering products, electronics, consumer products, processed and manufactured goods, pharmaceuticals, mining, agro-based products, oil and gas, mining support services.” added Saldanha.

Saldanha concluded saying, “India and Indonesia are looking for closer security and defence relations and this partnership will contribute to strategic stability in the Indian Ocean, as the largest Indian Ocean rim countries. Although the trade among the two economies has grown tremendously, people to people exchanges and international transport linkage remain an area of concern. Tourism is another major area where Indonesia has much to offer to the ever growing outgoing number of Indian tourists. Efforts are on to have direct flights from Jakarta to New Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore, Chennai and Kolkata. It is important that with growing trade, both the nations should provide easy access to their people and the business community at large.”

Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia, Saut Siringoringo addressing the gathering on “Enhancing Trade & Investment Relations between India & Indonesia” said, “As an Indonesian would think that India is an outstanding country, and there are some aspects about India that are related to Indonesian people, generally. Many of Indonesian culture are influenced by Indian culture from the Hindu-Buddha’s golden age, until 15th century. We know Ramayana and Mahabharata epic, but, yes, we got Javanese modified one, and usually we played it for Wayang performances. If you ever see Indonesian temple, a lot of Indian touch on them. Javanese and Balinese people, that have their own alphabet was influenced by Sanskrit.”

“Do you ever heard of Srivijaya? Majapahit? I believe, the existence of those kingdoms in Indonesia is because of the spread of Hindu and Buddha. Until now, Hindu and Buddha are one of the national religion. Bali is the province with the majority of Shiva Hindu people, but I believe that their Hindu and rituals are very different from Indian Hindu now. But still, their Hindu and Hindu is from India. Indonesia and India have that bond of being a former colonized area, new country, struggling nation and we can say, maybe because we have same ancestry too. There are a lot of Indian people who resides in Indonesia. Significant number of Tamil Indian ethnicity reside in Medan, North Sumatera, and run many businesses.” added Saut.

“Indonesian loves Bollywood. That is why some of Indonesian housewives and some of the (concerned) teens really like Shahrukh Khan, Kajol, Aishwarya Rai. Some of Indonesian Film and TV series producers are Indian descent. No doubt, India has also a very very big influence on Indonesian culture. One thing that’s certain is that Indian and Hindu culture reserved prominent presences in ancient Indonesian history. The famous temple complex of Prambanan, in Yogyakarta is a grand, massive example of this. The development of Indonesian art varied greatly from island to island. Anyone half-familiar with Indian epics will be familiar with the Ramayana and the Mahabarata. These epics have been translated, interpreted and integrated into Indonesian culture so much that sometimes Indonesian parents might forget to tell their kids these came from India. Every Indonesian kid knows who “Hanuman” or who “Gatot Kaca” is.”

“The largest ethnicity in Indonesia is Javanese. Apparently, Javanese culture are largely influenced by the ancient Indian culture. To this day, Indonesian people (mostly the Javaneses) still name their children with Indian names like Aditya, Indira, Devi, Vidya, Sarasvati, Ganesh, and so on. The Indian culture and the Indian people (and Indonesians of Indian descent) are adored and loved by many, many Indonesians. Indonesia and India has the long standing relations, history has made Indonesia and India particularly close to each other. This relation is endorsed with unique characteristics. Both countries share much in common-geographical expanse, size, and diversity of the population, culture, history and a colonial past as well as the similar direction of foreign policies in the pos-Independence era.”

“Both Indonesia and India have been having trade and cultural links for the last 2000 years. Both enjoy a high level mutual beneficial relation. Implementation of ASEAN-India Free Trade Agreement (AIFTA) has contributed a lot to the trade relations between out two nations. The bilateral trade between Indonesia and India had reached to 12.96 billion US dollars in 2016. However the bilateral trade relation between two countries has not been satisfying yet in other sectors apart from Coal and Crude Palm Oil. But both countries have proven their economic strength through their ever increasing GDP which puts us both in the one trillion dollar club”

“Despite the large size and rapid growth, the trade and investment between India and Indonesia remains modest. There is a need to synergize our efforts in the areas of economy and business to correct the sectoral and directional imbalance of our trade and to further diversify it. The vast consumer market, youthful and skilled human resources and expertise in the field of Information Technology of India couple with Indonesia’s natural resources, youthful population and strategic location would provide a platform for enhanced economic engagement. There is lot more could be done between India and Indonesia. I welcome you all to do business with Indonesia. I welcome you for the ‘Inacraft 2017’- the 19th Jakarta International Handicraft Trade Fair from 26-30 April 2017 (www.inacraft.co.id); and also for the 32nd Trade-Expo-Indonesia from 11-15 October 2017 in Jakarta.(www.tradexpoindonesia.com) I’ll be your host, be my guest. Selamat Datang di Indonesia! (Welcome to Indonesia)” said Saut Siringoringo.

There was also a video presentation on the geographic, infrastructures, culture, food, nightlife etc, in Indonesia, along with explanation by Saut. Mementoes were exchanged between the KCCI president and the Indonesian guests. Ms Vathika Pai introduced the guests to the audience, while Praveen Kumar Kalbhavi proposed the vote of thanks.

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