We can work to ensure that Indonesian people are more aware about Cuba and Cubans about Indonesia."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Cuba is committed to developing its relationship with Indonesia by strengthening the people-to-people contact, including by ensuring that the Indonesian media disseminates information about the country.

This was said by the Cuban Ambassador to Indonesia, Nirsia Castro Guevara.

"People-to-people contact is important as this will help identify what can be done further to strengthen the relationship and enhance cooperation between the two countries," the Ambassador remarked.

At the moment, the bilateral cooperation between Indonesia and Cuba revolves around the health sector. It was reported that in 2006, the governments of both countries had agreed to embark on developing a vaccine for dengue fever and malaria.

Ambassador Guevara revealed that the Cuban Embassy is currently working on a Memorandum of Understanding which will be signed by representatives of both the countries.

"We are working on this Memorandum to widen our partnership in health. It will open the door for more cooperation," she remarked during her visit to ANTARA in Jakarta, Tuesday.

Her visit was part of the efforts to strengthen the people-to-people (P2P) relationship between her country and Indonesia.

"The way to develop this (bilateral) relationship is by strengthening the people-to-people contact. We can work to ensure that Indonesian people are more aware about Cuba and Cubans about Indonesia," she stated.

She further explained that at the moment, people in both the countries know too little about each other. She strongly emphasized the need for Indonesians and Cubans to know each other better. Such an understanding can become the foundation of a stronger relationship between both the countries.

Additionally, Ambassador Guevara said Cuba is currently open to foreign investments as the country is on a path of social and economic development. Close contact between the public of Cuba and Indonesia may well help boost cooperation opportunities in terms of trade.

"This was true especially now since there are so many opportunities in the tourism and manufacturing sector," she reiterated.

Tourism is one of the sectors that Cuba would like to develop with Indonesia, as the number of Indonesian visitors to the country experienced a slight increase last year.

The Ambassador admitted that the two countries share similar tourism strong points, including natural wealth, historic spots and cultural destinations.

"However, our main tourism asset in Cuba is our people. They are friendly, open-minded and simple people who are ready to welcome foreign visitors," she concluded.

The bilateral relationship between Indonesia and the South American country goes back to the era of Sukarno, when a diplomatic relationship was established based on the close ties between Indonesias first President and Cubas then incumbent President, Fidel Castro.

Reporter: Aria Cindyara
Editor: Priyambodo RH
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