Through an exhibition held in Auckland, New Zealand, from July 11-14, 2019, Indonesia wants to increase its presence and influence in the Pacific.
According to the Indonesian Ambassador to New Zealand, Tantowi Yahya, Indonesia is geographically an integral part of the Pacific community because its five provinces are located in the Pacific Ocean.
Indonesia's population also consists of the Melanesian races in Papua, West Papua, and East Nusa Tenggara, as well as the Polynesian races in Maluku and North Maluku.
Indonesia's presence in the Pacific will expand the market in this region which has a population of 30 million and 1.2 trillion US dollars of GDP.
"We want to provide something different, not help, but open market access. With a population of 260 million, Indonesia can become an easy market for Pacific countries that have excellence in agricultural, fishery and tourism products," Tantowi said.
Indonesia's efforts to capitalize on its geographical location and socio-cultural closeness with the Pacific countries are being made in the midst of the Pacific Reset policy pioneered by Australia and New Zealand to embrace Pacific countries through economic cooperation, increased human resources, and the involvement of a passive society in the world.
However, Tantowi said that Indonesia did not want to compete with the two countries, even with the United States and China, which were also expanding their influence in the Pacific.
"There is no political motive behind the implementation of the Pacific Exposition, unless we want to play a role and contribute in the Pacific," he said.
Through these activities, all countries in the Pacific region including Indonesia and Timor Leste are given the opportunity to showcase superior products and investment potential.
On the sidelines of the exhibition, a number of tourism, trade and cultural forums will be held, as well as business matching events to further the interests of all participating countries.
The tourism forum with the theme "Towards One Single Pacific Destination" is intended to integrate countries in the South Pacific into new tourist destinations.
"This area is projected to become a new giant in the world of tourism," said Tantowi.
This Pacific Exposition supported by New Zealand and Australia will be an annual activity that is sustainable, to develop the interaction between Indonesia and the Pacific region.
Related news: Kadin invites foreign entrepreneurs to do business in Aceh
Related news: Imperial Pacific Seizes Opportunity on US Saipan to Create an 'Ocean Miracle'
Related news: Entering a new era of the Indonesia and South Pacific relationship