Beginning with the official recognition of the Republic of Indonesia by New Zealand in 1950, followed by the establishment of a Colombo Plan office in Jakarta in 1957, the diplomatic relations between New Zealand and Indonesia were then made formal in 1958. Since then, bilateral partnership between the two countries has only gotten stronger and proven to be mutually beneficial.

Photos courtesy of the Embassy of New Zealand, Jakarta/NOW!JAKARTA

To commemorate 60 years of diplomatic relations between New Zealand and Indonesia, a logo that was jointly created by the Indonesian Embassy in Wellington and the New Zealand Embassy in Jakarta was unveiled at an event taking place at the Financial Club, Graha CIMB Niaga, Jakarta on February 1, 2018.

“Friends For Good”, as the tagline goes, reflects a friendship based on mutual trust and respect, as well as an intention to pursue a closer relationship, increased cooperation and comprehensive partnership across sectors.

“The relationship between our two countries was founded on people-to-people linkages, the exchange of knowledge and the sharing of experience. These have successfully guided the partnership over the course of the past 60 years,” said New Zealand Ambassador to Indonesia H.E. Dr. Trevor Matheson.

The launch was also intended to mark the start of year-long programmes to commemorate the 60th anniversary of bilateral relations between New Zealand and Indonesia. During the event, the Embassy of New Zealand shared presentations about past and present collaborations that have served as milestone achievements.

New Zealand and Indonesia have a robust relationship in the renewable energy sector, with New Zealand supporting capacity development in Indonesia through provision of technical expertise to increase access to electricity, particularly from renewable and geothermal energy.

Indonesia is also home to New Zealand’s largest bilateral programme outside the Pacific with a particular focus on the least-developed regions in the eastern part of Indonesia.

Due to similar geographic conditions, with both countries situated on the Pacific Ring of Fire and thus prone to threats of natural disasters, New Zealand and Indonesia have also fostered cooperation in disaster risk management.

Economy and environment aside, bilateral relations between the two countries are also getting stronger in the areas of agriculture and education, two important sectors for New Zealand.

With about 260 millions of population, Indonesia is seen as potential market for New Zealand. Add to that Indonesia’s strategic role as a key member of ASEAN. In that light, New Zealand has established a diplomatic mission to ASEAN in Jakarta, along with its embassy.

Divisional Director for the South and Southeast Asia Division of New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade Stephen Harris said, “Our countries share many concerns as we both face the challenges of urbanisation, pollution, climate change and threats to international peace and security. The challenges we face are often of a very different scale, but our commitment to resolving them is equal, and frequently plays out in joint endeavours, whether in terms of disaster preparedness, countering violent extremism, tackling illegal fishing or working to clean up our oceans. This year sees our relationship at its strongest yet, and we look forward to further cooperation in the decades ahead.”

Looking forward, New Zealand and Indonesia have set a target to more than double their bilateral trade, which is currently worth USD 1.7 billion. By 2024, two-way trade in goods is expected to reach USD 4 billion.

Sari Widiati

Sari Widiati

Sari has been an arts and culture enthusiast for many years. She has written extensively on the arts, travel, and social issues as Features Writer at NOW! Jakarta.