The diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Greece have been in fruitful level since 53 years ago. Today, the friendship and close cooperation between our countries are at a high point, having been nurtured in recent times through regular consultations between our officials.
We reached an important progress through the establishment of Bilateral Consultation Forum (BCF) in 2008, which has resulted in agreement to boost the cooperation in various sectors, including maritime transport and tourism, especially focused in the education and cultural affairs.
Following the Bilateral Consultation Forum II in Bali, Mei 2009, there are some initiatives to promote relationship between two countries, among others are interfaith dialogue civilization and promote cooperation on cruise travel to Indonesia’s islands.
Cooperation in political field is developing gradually, in terms of multilateral cooperation through international forums especially by supporting each other’s candidacy in the international forum, such as ICO, IMO, IHO, ILC and UPU.
Up to today, there are three agreements that have been signed by both countries, which are:
1. The Agreement between Government of Indonesia and Government of the Hellenic Republic on Cultural and Educational Cooperation, signed on 24 June 2004;
2. Memorandum of Understanding Between the Government of the Hellenic Republic and the Government of the Republic of Indonesia on Cooperation in the field of Tourism, May 15, 2007;
3. Air Transport Agreement, signed on June 24, 2008.
The relation between two countries’ parliaments starts to accelerate since 18 January 2008 when The Parliament of Hellenic Republic has established Friendship Group Between The Hellenic Republic ad the Republic of Indonesia, followed by Indonesian Parliament’s also established Parliamentary Friendship Group of DPR RI-Hellenic Parliament on 19 March 2008. The relations between two parliaments reached its highest point in 2009, when the President of Parliament of Indonesia. H.E. Dr. HM Hidayat Nur Wahid met the President of the Hellenic Parliament and the President of the Hellenic Republic in Athens.
In the economic sector, there is a lot of room for improvement, since the trade and investment flows are still low and beyond existing potential of both countries. Greece’s mainly imported products from Indonesia are furniture, vegetable oil, paper, electric machinery; craft, house wares, textile and auto/car spare parts. On the other hand, Indonesia’s main imports from Greece are olives, marble, IT equipment and synthetic fibers. The similarity of geographical landscape also provides ample opportunities for both countries in terms of potential cooperation in the sector of maritime transport — such as training of the seaman and intensifying Greek investment in the shipyard industry in Indonesia—and in the sector of tourism such as cooperation to increase tourist arrival as well as cooperation to develop shipping transportation from island to island.
Each country has been also participating actively in the biggest trade event in Indonesia and Greece respectively, namely Thessaloniki International Fair and Indonesian Expo. Those two events have contributed a lion share in the economic cooperation between two countries every year.
The cultural and educational cooperation between Indonesia and Greek is based on “The Agreement between the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Government of the Hellenic Republic on Cultural and Educational Cooperation” which was signed on 24 June 2004.
Apart of that, there has been a quite inspiring cultural exchange between Indonesia and Greece. There have been already 23 Greek students who participated in the Darmasiswa program since Greece’s first participation in 1998. For the academic year 2010-2011, the Government of the Republic of Indonesia awarded this scholarship to three Greek students.
Darmasiswa is an annual scholarship program offered to all foreign students from friendly countries wishing to study Bahasa Indonesia language, arts, music, dance and crafts. The main purpose of the Darmasiswa Scholarship is to foster and encourage interest in the language and culture of Indonesia, and create stronger cultural links with friendly countries.
Meanwhile, the Embassy has also done numbers of cultural events in many cities in Greece as well as in some Greek islands. The Indonesian Traditional Wedding Ceremonies Festival, Athens, 26 May 2010; the participation of Indonesian Naval Ship “KRI Dewaruci” in Historical Seas Tall Ships Ragatta May-June 2010; and the performance “Beauty of Indonesian Colour” in Athens in 5 June 2010, just to name a few of the Indonesian Embassy’s effort in promoting people to people contact between the two countries.