"The relations between Indonesia and the Netherlands are currently in the best condition," the ambassador Retno L.P Marsudi said at a recent discussion organized by the Indonesian Students Association (PPI) in Leeuwarden, the Netherlands.
She explained the significant indicator related to the strong cooperation between the two countries was the visit of Prime Minister of the Netherlands Mark Rutte to Indonesia in November 2013, whose agenda was among others the signing of an agreement on comprehensive partnership covering the 5+6 format of cooperation.
The figure 5 refers to five main areas covering investment and trade, infrastructure and logistics, water resources management as well as food security and education, she said, adding that the figure 6 refers to six areas covering tourism, health care, industries, energy, science and technology, as well as trilateral cooperation in the context of joint development with other countries.
"This comprehensive partnership between Indonesia and the Netherlands is a form of strong and very serious cooperation because the two countries have maintain the sense of strong mutual trust, " Retno Marsudi said.
She said in the past, the cooperation between Indonesia and the Netherlands was awakened only by the roles of Indonesia as a recipient country and the Netherlands as a donor country, but this time, due to the stable and even increasing economic growth, Indonesia and the Netherlands shared positions to help other countries in the trilateral basis.
The Indonesian new form of relations with the windmill country has brought about several projects on the construction and management of water.
In the field of construction, Indonesia and the Netherlands agreed on a cooperation agreement project of constructing five man-made islands (mainland) in the vicinity of the port of Tanjung Perak, Surabaya (East Java) in which an industrial area will also be built.
Meanwhile, the First Secretary for Information and Social Culture Affairs at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in the Hague (Den Haag), Danang Waskito, said the project on the construction of new islands was expected to cost 20 million euros.
He said the project was agreed between Pelindo III (Indonesia Port Corporation) and the Dutch construction company, Van Oord.
The agreement was signed during the visit of the Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte on 19 and 22 November 2013, accompanied by the Minister for Foreign Trade and Development Cooperation, Lilianne Ploumen and the Ministry of Agriculture Sharon Djiksma.
In addition to the project that will be conducted in Surabaya, the two countries also agreed on cooperation of making master plan development named National Capital Integrated Coastal Development (NCICD) by constructing a giant sea dike in capital city of Jakarta.
"This project aims to address flooding and to support sustainable development in Jakarta," Danang said, adding that the master plan was prepared by the experts of Indonesia and the Netherlands.
The comprehensive partnership also agreed on the cooperation in the field of fisheries and aquaculture involving the Dutch Ministry of Cultivation Fisheries and the Indonesian Ministry of Maritime and Fisheries.
"From the partnership agreement, there has been a new round of relations which emphasize a long-term vision in which Indonesia and the Netherlands will move forward together to fill a variety of opportunities for cooperation in the sectors of economy, politics and culture," Danang said.
The cooperation between Indonesia and the Netherlands, which has been built in all sectors of development, has given inspiration and encouragement to the Indonesian students who are pursuing their higher education in the Netherlands.
The secretary general of the Indonesian Students Association (PPI) in the Netherlands Willy Sakareza said the comprehensive partnership on the 5 +6 format has encouraged the Indonesian students in the Netherlands to be actively involved in the role and formation according to their capacities.
"We are very inspired by the partnership between Indonesia and the Netherlands. Moreover, the fields of cooperation on science and technology are being studied and researched by most of the Indonesian students in this country," Willy said.
He said many Indonesian students are pursuing higher education in the field of engineering at some prestigious technology universities in the world such as Delft University of Technology and Eindhoven University of Technology from the undergraduate to doctoral levels.
In addition, hundreds of Indonesian students in the Netherlands are also taking up the disciplines of social sciences and management such as the management of energy resources and the environment, supply and logistics management, business finance, law and journalism.
"We have got human resources for all areas of development. We are ready to build Indonesia," Willy said.
He asserted Indonesian students, especially those in the Netherlands strongly support the struggle of diplomacy by the Indonesian ambassador in The Hague.
In fact they are willing to contribute in bridging the partnership between the two countries to reach the level of implementation in the form of thesis and dissertation research, internship program, even be involved in the execution of such cooperation.
Besides academic activities, the Indonesian students and the people who are living in various cities in the Netherlands are keen to help the Indonesian governments efforts to promote a wide range of Indonesia potentials.
"Through PPI we have organized scientific activities several times in collaboration with educational institutions and companies in the Netherlands," Willy said.
Recently the PPI with the state-owned electricity company (PLN) and the Institute of Southeast Asian and Caribbean Studies of the Netherlands (KITLV) organized a seminar to discuss cooperation between KITLV and PLN for digitizing PLNs vital archives.
In addition, the Indonesian students organized a scientific conference throughout Europe in collaboration with the University of Wageningen.
At the conference, hundreds of Indonesian students presented their research in the fields of agriculture and food technology, environmental technology and management as well as animal and plant sciences.
"We hope the results of the study of Indonesian students can be implemented for development in the country, particularly through partnership that has been established between Indonesia and the Netherlands," Willy said. (*)