"In the future we will focus more on cooperation in agriculture, energy and people to people relations," said Marty.Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Suriname agree to enhance cooperation in agriculture as an effort to strengthen their 37 years of bilateral relations, Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa said here on Monday after meeting with his visiting counterpart Minister Winston G Lackin.
"In the future we will focus more on cooperation in agriculture, energy and people to people relations," said Marty.
Agriculture sector is the main focus of cooperation between Indonesia and Suriname where the latter wants to observe Indonesia`s experience in developing domestic agricultural-based industry. Suriname expects this cooperation will enable it to increase the production of agricultural goods and maintain food security for the people.
"We are convinced that in the future there will be more economic cooperation between Suriname and Indonesia," Suriname`s Foreign Affairs Minister Winston G Lackin said.
Apart from cooperation in agriculture, Suriname and Indonesia are also planning to cooperate in fishery sector. During a joint meeting between officials from the two countries last 2009 in Solo, Central Java, official from Suriname uttered his country`s interest in studying the development of fishery sector in Indonesia especially on the issue of improving fishermen`s welfare.
In respond to the request, Indonesia`s Marine and Fishery Ministry in 2013 will invite one government official and one fishermen from Suriname to attend a workshop in Indonesia.
Meanwhile Suriname`s Foreign Affairs Minister Winston G Lackin said Indonesia and Suriname have a special relation where both countries are tied with cultural and historical aspects since the migration of Indonesians to Suriname in 1980s.
"A large part of population of Suriname have Indonesian descendants. We have been blessed by the enrichment of your culture, history, religion. With this background, I`m sure there is a strong basis to develop more cooperation," he said.
Indonesia considers Suriname as a strategic partner as it is located in the center of Latin America and is expected to function as hub for marketing of Indonesian products to countries in the region.
Indonesia exports several products to Suriname namely textile, furniture, clothes, household equipments, plastic equipments, shoes, cooking ingredients and musical instruments.
Trade value between Indonesia and Suriname from the period of 2007 to 2012 has been increasing by 187 percent. Trade value in 2012 was recorded at US$8.9 million or increasing by 12.56 percent from the previous year of US$7.9 million. (*)