"Indonesia and Serbia share similar geographical positions, in which, they are strategic as the hub of trade paths. On the other had, this geographical position also means there is potential for unwanted impacts, including vulnerability for transnational organized crimes," the minister said during a meeting with Serbian Deputy Minister of Justice Radomir Ilic in Beograd on Monday (July 6, 2020).
The minister was referring to the transnational organized crimes such as smuggling of drugs, firearms, and other contraband items.
The minister said he believed that strengthening cooperation and collaboration between countries is vital for fighting transnational organized crime.
Indonesia and Serbia have been participating in the international cooperation framework in this area, and for that reason, Indonesia aims to take the collaboration to a higher level, he added.
Both countries are party to a number of agreements on fighting transnational crimes, including the United Nations Convention Against Transnational Organized Crime (UNCTOC), United Nations Convention Against Corruption (UNCAC), and the UN Drug Control Convention.
The extradition of Nikolov Iliev, a Serbian national who stole the data of bank customers, from Indonesia in 2015 reflects the strong ties between Indonesia and Serbia in the field of law enforcement, the minister said.
"They all (the bilateral ties) serve as good foundations to cultivate and develop cooperation for the good of both countries and their people," he added.
Aside from transnational organized crime, Laoly is also exploring potential cooperation in other sectors.
"It would be appreciated if Serbia can share their experiences and approaches in easing regulations, procedures and company registrations, in order to (help us devise ways to) improve our Ease of Doing Business ranking," he continued.
Serbia has been placed 44th in the World Bank's Ease of Doing Business Rank, which is higher compared to Indonesia's position (73rd) on the index.
Aside from that, the minister said, there is potential for cooperation in capacity building. He said he believed that both Indonesia and Serbia can benefit from exchange of experts and experiences through joint training programs for developing their human resources.
"I believe that the opportunity for cooperation between the two countries is open wide," he added.
Minister Yasonna Laoly and his delegation are in Belgrade for hammering out Mutual Legal Assistance and extradition agreements between both countries. They left Indonesia on Saturday, July 4, 2020, and are expected to return on Thursday, July 9. (INE)
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