"We must take joint efforts to increase tourist visits from and to the two countries by among others encouraging private airlines to open new routes," India`s state minister from the ministry for development of the north eastern region and parliamentarian affairs, Paban Singh Ghatowar, said at a meeting with Bali governor I Made Mangku Pastika here on Monday.
He said the Indian embassy in Jakarta and consulate in Bali have even planned to organize a tourism promotion forum at the end of this year.
"Besides tourism, we also wish Bali and other regions would also cooperate in increasing capacity building, health, education and trade. India also wishes to contribute to infrastructure development in Bali," he said.
Ghotawar said India also wished to deepen its cultural relationship with Bali including language, literary and performance arts with a hope a joint cultural event could be held later to show their respective cultural richness.
During the four-day visit to Bali he said he and his delegation wished to see art performances and meet with tourism officials in Bali as well as the district head of Badung and the chairman of the regional legislative assembly.
"We are interested to see as many places in Bali as possible and also meet as many people as possible," he said, adding he would also promote relations between the two countries` youths.
Indian ambassador to Indonesia Gurjit Singh meanwhile said India wished to participate in many events held in Bali this year such as the World Culture Forum, the Bali Democracy Forum and others.
"For the World Culture Forum later our delegation will include various cultural groups. We will also be here to attend the Bali Democracy Forum and the World Trade Organization meeting," he said.
Bali governor Made Mangku Pastika meanwhile said that Bali is very special being part of Indonesia with its majority Moslem population.
"Inter-religious tolerance in Bali is very good. We are also very glad that many international events have been held here," he said.
He said he welcomed India`s offer to cooperate in tourism and other sectors. ***3***
reporting by ni luh rhismawati
(T.SYS/B/H-YH/A/H-YH) 15-04-2013 20:28:38