"In cooperation with New Zealand, we will come up with direct programs for the disadvantaged villages," Minister of Village, Disadvantaged Region Development and Transmigration, Marwan Jafar, noted in a written statement received by ANTARA on Monday.
Around 33,592 villages or 46 percent of Indonesian villages are considered disadvantaged and 13,453 villages or around 16 percent villages are recognized as left behind by a long distance which need special development programs.
"Those villages need special intervention and I hope New Zealand would be able to help us with implementing programs for these villages," Marwan said.
Considering New Zealands success in developing its villages into advanced ones, Marwan expected that this country would be able to do positive work in Indonesia by focusing on making the village a foundational unit of national development.
"New Zealand has a long experience in developing the countryside. This partnership should be followed up with real action," he stated.
Meanwhile, New Zealand Ambassador Trevor Matheson said he was ready to carry out concrete measures, focusing on helping Indonesia develop its village areas.
He also expected a comparative study of village development between the two countries in order to run effective and targeted programs.
"We really hope that Minister Marwan could come and visit our villages in New Zealand, so that he could see some positive points to be developed together," Matheson said.(*)