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BILATERAL RELATIONS
 
Bilateral Relations with Indonesia (Political)

Bilateral relations between South Africa and Indonesia

Political relations

SA-Indonesia relations go back more than 350 years - when the first people of Indonesian descent arrived in the Cape in the mid-1600s. Starting with the Bandung Conference of 1955 (which was attended, on behalf of the ANC by Moses Kotane and Maulvi Cachalia), Indonesia became one of the fiercest critics of apartheid and supported the anti-apartheid struggle throughout. Efforts to rekindle the spirit of Bandung  through enhancing cooperation between the countries of Asia and Africa were jointly initiated in 2002 and Indonesia and South Africa hosted the first Asian-African Sub-Regional Organizations Conference (AASROC I) and the second AASROC (AASROC II) respectively in Bandung, Indonesia in  2003 and in Durban, South Africa in 2004. These events were important milestones in preparation for the Asian-African Summit in Indonesia in 2005, which was held in conjunction with the commemoration of the Golden Jubilee of the 1955 Asian-African Conference.  In 1995, the New Asia Africa Strategic Partnership (NAASP) was established with SA and Indonesia as the co-chairs.

Deputy President Cyril Ramophosa represented President Jacob Zuma; during the 60th Anniversary of the Asia Africa Bandung Conference with the theme “Strengthening South-South Cooperation to Promote World Peace and Prosperity” & the 10th Anniversary Celebrations of the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership Summit Meeting respectively held in Jakarta and Bandung from 19 – 24 April 2015. Furthermore; the Indonesian Government; through the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce & Industry (locally referred to as KADIN) hosted the first Asia – Africa Business Summit on 21 April 2015 with the theme of “Realization of Asia-Africa Partnership for Progress and Prosperity”. Deputy President Cyril Ramophosa addressed the Asia – Africa Business Summit which culminated on the decision for the formation of the Asia – Africa Business Council. Indonesia is expected to host the Inaugural Session of the Council, details are still awaited from Indonesian stakeholders.

Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane; on behalf of President JG Zuma; attended and delivered remarks during the 12th World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) in Jakarta on 02 August 2016. During the event; Minister Nkoana-Mashabane further engaged her Indonesian Ministerial counterpart on bilateral relations.
Minister Retno Marsuddi; on behalf of President Joko Widodo, delivered a letter of invitation to President JG Zuma in Cape Town in February 2017 and also took opportunity of her visit to South Africa to conduct bilateral discussions with Minister Nkoana-Mashabane in which occasion, both Ministers agreed that their meeting will represent the sitting of the Joint Ministerial Commission.

At the invitation of H.E President Joko Widodo, President Jacob Zuma conducted a State Visit to the Republic of Indonesia on 08 March 2017, to enhance bilateral political and economic relations between the two countries. Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation; Ms Edna Molewa, Minister of Environmental Affairs; and Mr Senzeni Zokwana, Minister of Agriculture, Forestry, and Fisheries were in attendance during the State Visit.

Before the commencement of the State Visit and based on the deliberations between Ministers Marsudi and Nkoana-Mashabane in Cape Town, bilateral meetings between Minister Zokwana and Mr Anthoni Salim: President Director of INDOFOOD & Chairman of THE SALIM GROUP, was arranged to follow-up on issues raised previously with Minister Rob Davies in 2015.

On 07 March, Ministers Molewa and Zokwana held discussions with the Indonesian Minister of Maritime Affairs & Fisheries where issues of mutual concern were discussed covering areas within the respective portfolios of both South African Ministries under the one Ministry in Indonesia. The meeting of the principals agreed on a framework to develop an MOU that can be signed by the three Ministers at a mutually agreed time likely during the next sitting of the United Nations General Assembly in New York. A report on the said meetings is prepared

During the State Visit, three agreements were signed by the two Foreign Ministers, viz

  • the Visa Waiver Agreement for holders of Diplomatic, Official and Service Passports;
  • a Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Training Institutions of DIRCO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and
  • the Plan of Action 2017 – 2021.

The Plan of Action document in particular, is expected to make it easier to implement the strategic partnership between the two countries. Both countries continue playing leading roles in developing and enhancing South-South Cooperation and continue to be locomotives of South-South Cooperation.

Formal diplomatic relations between Indonesia and SA were established in 1994. In 2008, the Joint Declaration on a Strategic Partnership for a Peaceful and Prosperous Future was signed by President Mbeki and President Yudhoyono, elevating the long-standing relations between the two countries to a strategic level.

During a State Visit by President Yudhoyono to South Africa in March 2008 a Strategic Partnership Joint Declaration was signed, elevating the long-standing relations between the two countries to a new level. During this visit, President Yudhoyono paid homage at the kramat (shrine) of Sheik Yussuf at Makassar near Somerset West in the Western Cape Province. The Sheik was a 17th century Muslim leader who resisted the Dutch colonial power in his native Makassar, South Sulawesi (part of modern day Indonesia). He was subsequently banished to the Cape where he died and was laid to rest in 1699. His shrine at Makassar is regarded as one of the holiest places of the South African Muslim community. 

The MOU on the Establishment of the Joint Commission (JC) was established in 2004, of which there have only been two meetings in 5 years. In 2017, Minister Nkoana-Mashabane and her Indonesian counterpart, Minister Marsudi met in Cape Town and the meeting agreed that the meeting would be regarded as the meeting of the Joint Commission re-enacted in April 2015 during the Asia-Africa Conference in response to the defunct JC established in 2004

The following bilateral agreements and MOU’s were signed since the establishment of diplomatic ties;

1997 Agreement for the Avoidance of Double Taxation and the Prevention of Fiscal Evasion with respect to Taxes on Income.
2004 Memorandum of Understanding on Establishment of a Joint Commission for Bilateral Cooperation.
2005 Memorandum of Understanding on Agriculture Development Cooperation.
2005 Memorandum of Understanding on Scientific and Technological Cooperation
2008 Memorandum of Understanding on Cultural Cooperation.
2008 Joint Declaration on a Strategic Partnership for a Peaceful and Prosperous Future.
2008 Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperative Activities in the field of Defence.
2015 Memorandum of Understanding Establishment of the Joint Commission
2017 Visa Waiver Agreement for holders of Diplomatic, Official and Service Passports;
2017 Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between the Training Institutions of DIRCO and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs; and
2017 Plan of Action 2017 – 2021. The blueprint for the implementation of the Joint Declaration on a Strategic Partnership for a Peaceful & Prosperous Future;

The following Agreements / MOU’s are currently under consideration / negotiation:

  • MoU On Police Co-Operation- Texts exchanged
  • MOU on Science and Technology- Texts exchanged, ongoing discussions
  • MoU On Marine and  Fisheries Cooperation- Texts exchanged(2017)
  • MoU on Cooperation in the field of Minerals and Energy.
  • MoU on Special Economic Zones

SOUTH AFRICA-INDONESIA BILATERAL TRADE

11.1 RSA export to Indonesia by 2017 amounted R 5 693 384 459 consisting of these items Live animals, Vegetables, Animal or vegetable fats, Prepared foodstuffs, Mineral Products, Chemicals Plastics & Rubber, Raw hides & leather, Wood Products, Wood pulp & paper, Textiles, Footwear, Stone & Glass, Precious Metal, Products Iron & Steel, Machinery, Vehicles aircraft & vessels, Photographic & medical equipment, Toys & Sport apparel, Works of art, Other unclassified goods.

Source: www.sars.gov.za

1.2  Indonesian exports to RSA amounted R 9 888 011 480 consisting of these items Live animals, Vegetables, Animal or vegetable fats, Prepared foodstuffs, Mineral Products, Chemicals, Plastics & Rubber, Raw hides & leather, Wood Products, Wood pulp & paper, Textiles, Footwear, Stone & Glass, Precious Metal, Products Iron & Steel, Machinery, Vehicles aircraft & vessels, Photographic & medical equipment, Toys & Sport apparel, Works of art, Other unclassified goods, Equipment Components.

Source: www.sars.gov.za

The Joint Trade Committee

The Joint Trade Committee (JTC) between South Africa and Indonesia, as a bilateral mechanism to promote and expand the trade and investment relationship, was established in 2006. The first meeting was chaired by former Trade and Industry Minister Mr Mpahlwa and his counterpart at the time, Trade Minister, ME Pangesto. The Second Meeting was attended by Minister Rob Davies in 2012 in Jakarta.

Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies, had a successful visit to Indonesia in 2015; when he attended the during the 60th Anniversary of the Asia Africa Bandung Conference & the 10th Anniversary Celebrations of the New Asian-African Strategic Partnership Summit Meeting respectively held in Jakarta and Bandung from 19 – 24 April 2015. The Minister also attended the Asia – Africa Business Summit on 21 April 2015. He also paid a courtesy call to his counterpart and held meetings with relevant strategic stakeholders. In recent times, South African companies have explored opportunities for investment in Indonesia, including SASOL, Old Mutual, Sanlam, Denel and the Paramount Group

The JTC recently met in Pretoria from 24- 26 July 2017 hosted by Minister Rob Davies at the DTI Campus in Pretoria. A Business Forum co-hosted by Ministers Davies and Lukita at the Development Bank of Southern African offices in Johannesburg was also held following the conclusion of the JTC. Minister Lukita’s delegation included representatives of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN), as well as representatives of 26 Indonesian companies, including those from the palm oil sector, the food and consumer goods sector, the construction sector and the manufacturing sector, including tyre manufacturing. 

Tourism

A total of 2174 visitors from Indonesia entered South Africa in the period January-August 2017  indicating a relatively modest increase if  compared to 1018 recorded arrivals in the same period last year (2016). The figures continue to paint a picture of low levels of travel from Indonesia to South Africa, whilst the figures show positive growth further intense and robust market penetration campaigns are needed to entrench South Africa as a destination of choice for the increasingly wealthier population who are willing to travel to exotic destinations. Indonesians feel welcome in SA because of our close historic and cultural ties.

HE Dr Hilton Fisher
Ambassador
 
 
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