Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

​I. Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC)

 

Overview of APEC

 

Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) is a cooperation forum of 21 member economies in the Pacific Rim that was established in 1989. Cooperation in APEC covers not only trade, but also efforts to increase investment and other economic cooperation as a whole. Currently there are 21 economies that become members of APEC, namely Australia, Brunei Darussalam, Canada, Chile, China, Hong Kong-China, Indonesia, Japan, South Korea, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, the Philippines, Peru, PNG, Russia, Singapore, Chinese Taipei, Thailand, the United States, and Viet Nam. Cooperation in APEC is a non-political cooperation which is marked by the membership of Hong Kong-China and Chinese Taipei. It is a form of cooperation that is focused on economy, trade, and investment. Besides the 21 member economies, APEC has three observers namely the ASEAN Secretariat, Pacific Economic Cooperation Council (PECC) and the Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) Secretariat.

 

The main objective of APEC is to further enhance economic growth and prosperity for the Asia Pacific region. This is done by encouraging and facilitating free and open trade and investment in the region as well as increasing cooperation for capacity building of Member Economies with the goal to be achieved by industrialized economies no later than year 2010 and by developing economies no later than year 2020. The objectives of APEC are listed in the agreement of APEC Summit in Bogor in 1994, better known as the Bogor Declaration.

 

“… with the industrialized economies achieving the goal of free and open trade and investment no later than the year 2010 and developing economies no later than the year 2020.” 

 

Cooperation in APEC is built on several principles, namely consensus; voluntary and non-binding; concerted unilateralism, and differentiated time frame. The consensus principle means that all decisions in APEC must be useful and agreed upon by the 21 member economies. The principle of voluntary and non-binding means that agreement is done voluntarily and not binding. Meanwhile, the principle of concerted unilateralism means that decision is made jointly in accordance with the ability of each economy without reciprocity requirement. The principle of differentiated time frame means that the industrialized economy is expected to liberalize first.

 

Although the covenant in APEC is voluntary and non-binding, the declared commitment of APEC members is proven to be implemented more effectively. The given flexibility is to give opportunities to members that have various capacities, to improvise, conduct experimental test, and develop joint training gradually to meet the desired covenant. Besides that, APEC also has several mechanisms for periodical peer reviews which are conducted to measure the progress of members and to design related technical cooperation activities.

 

Along with the increasingly complex issues of trade and investment in the region, sectoral cooperation in APEC is also increasingly widespread and complex. APEC currently has no less than 34 fora and subfora that hold meetings regularly. Sectoral Ministerial meetings are also routinely held in APEC such as Trade Ministerial meeting, SME Ministerial Meeting and Women’s Role Ministerial Meeting.

 

To support the active participation of Indonesia in various APEC fora and subfora, various Ministries/National Agencies actively participate and contribute in accordance with their respective duties and functions, such as the Ministry of Trade in the Committee on Trade and Investment (CTI), the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs in the Economic Committee (EC), and the Ministry of National Development Planning/the National Development Planning Agency in SOM Steering Committee on Economic and Technical Cooperation (SCE). The Indonesian national coordinator for APEC is under the responsibility of the Foreign Ministry.

 

The private sector also plays an important role in APEC. The private sector through APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) has actively participated in various APEC activities and meetings. APEC members who come from all members of APEC consist of three prominent businessmen who were appointed directly by the APEC Economies Leaders to voice the business interests of each Economy. The current chairman of ABAC Indonesia is Wishnu Wardhana with Anindya Bakrie and Karen Agustiawan as members and Gatot Suwondo, Arief Yahya and Erwin Aksa as replacement members.

 

APEC Cooperation Opportunities

 

Currently APEC is regarded as one of the most important regional economic forum in the Asia Pacific region because it includes the participation of Economic Leaders from key countries in the region such as the United States, China, Japan, Australia, and seven members of ASEAN. In terms of demographics, APEC is a great organization because it has a population of 2.7 billion people. Fourteen out of the 21 APEC member economies are 40 biggest exporters in the world meanwhile nine APEC members are members of the G20. Besides that, each year the Foreign Minister, the Minister of Trade, the Minister of Finance and other Ministers attend APEC meetings. The presence of the Leaders and the Ministers of APEC is used as an opportunity to discuss bilateral and regional issues.

 

APEC also plays an important role in promoting multilateral trade agenda. In 1994, APEC significantly contributes to the completion of the Uruguay Round which was conducted within the framework of the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT). This success has encouraged the establishment of World Trade Organization (WTO). Currently, the APEC cooperation forum is seen as one of the key arenas to encourage the completion of the Doha Round. This is supported by the commitment of APEC Trade Ministers who conduct a meeting every year to find concrete solutions in the multilateral trading system under the spirit of the Bogor Goals.

 

APEC also significantly contribute to economic growth in the Asia Pacific region and the global economic development. Besides that, APEC members also contribute to 53% of global GDP and 44% of world trade volume. APEC members’ average growth rate per year is 2.5%. This figure is much higher than non-APEC member economies’ average growth rate which is only 1.3% per year over the same period. The combined economies of APEC members doubled from US$ 17.7 trillion in 1989 to US$ 35.8 trillion in 2010. Total APEC trade in goods and services also has increased five-fold from US$ 3.1 trillion in 1989 to US$ 16.8 trillion in 2010. Meanwhile, in terms of investment, Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) which flows into APEC region has increased by 715% from 1989 up to 2010.

 

Indonesia's total trade in 1989 to all APEC Member Economies is US$ 29.9 billion. In 2011, this figure rose to US$ 289.3 billion, or 75% of the total trade between Indonesia. [1] In 1994, the value of FDI into Indonesia from all APEC Member Economies is US$ 2.5 billion. In 2011, this figure increased to US$ 10.6 billion or 54% of total FDI into Indonesia.

 

APEC also has an important role in promoting structural reform agenda in the region. Since 2004, APEC has been actively discussing structural reform agenda that includes reform on legislation, public and corporate governance, business world competition policy, and strengthening economic legal infrastructure. Discussion and implementation of training activities related to agendas behind-the-border are expected to reduce the losses suffered by the business world and regional economy due to the high cost economy.

 

For Indonesia, the potential and opportunities for economic cooperation in APEC can be used to increase the Indonesian economic capacity, competitiveness and innovation and encourage the establishment of open market in Asia Pacific.

 

APEC Indonesia 2013

 

In 2008 Indonesia applied for the chairman position and was selected by consensus to serve as chairman and host of the 21st APEC summit in 2013. The implementation of the 21st APEC Summit and the whole series of APEC meetings in 2013 in Indonesia need to be used as an opportunity to show Indonesia's active role in promoting regional economic resilience, utilizing regional economic integration for economic growth, creating job and increasing investment and Indonesian export. Besides that, Indonesia as the host of the 21stAPEC summit is expected bring positive benefits for promoting trade, investment, tourism and culture.

 

The theme of APEC Indonesia 2013 is "Resilient Asia-Pacific, Engine of Global Growth." Indonesia's chairmanship in APEC in 2013 can be used to realize Asia Pacific region which are tough, resilient, and recovering fast amid the economic crisis. The realization of this vision is expected to make Asia-Pacific region as the engine of global economic growth. To support the achievement of the theme, Indonesia proposed three main priorities, namely Attaining the Bogor Goals, Achieving Sustainable Growth with Equity and Promoting Connectivity.

 

In Attaining the Bogor Goals, Indonesia makes an effort to encourage the strengthening of regional economic integration through liberalization and facilitation of trade and supporting multilateral trade system. Meanwhile, in Achieving Sustainable Growth with Equity, Indonesia seeks to boost the role of SMEs and women in the economy, to discuss food security issues and mainstreaming marine issues in APEC. Meanwhile, in Promoting Connectivity, Indonesia seeks to increase physical, institutional and individual connectivity in the region among other things by increasing cooperation in infrastructure development and investment, cross-border cooperation in education sector, cooperation to facilitate natural disaster emergency response and cooperation to facilitate tourism in Asia-Pacific region.

 

The series of APEC 2013 main meetings held in Indonesia and outside of Indonesia are as follows:

 

Time

Name of Meeting

Place

December, 6 – 7, 2012

APEC Symposium and Informal Senior Officials' Meeting (ISOM)

 

Jakarta

 

January 25 -  February 7, 2013

SOM 1 and related meetings

Jakarta

 

April 7 – 19, 2013

SOM 2 and related meetings

Surabaya

April 20 – 21, 2013

Ministers Responsible for Trade (MRT)

Surabaya

June 22 - July 6, 2013

SOM 3 and related meetings

Medan

August 15 – 16, 2013

Forestry Ministerial Meeting *

Cusco, Peru

September 4 – 6, 2013

Transportation Ministerial Meeting (TPTMM) *

Tokyo, Japan

September 7, 2013

Small and Medium Enterprises Ministerial Meeting (SMEMM)

Bali

 

September 7, 2013

Joint Ministerial Level Meeting on Women and SME

Bali

 

September 6 – 7, 2013

High Level Policy Dialogue on Women and the Economy (HLPDWE)

Bali

 

September 19, 2013 (tbc)

High Level Meeting on Health & the Economy

 

Bali

 

September 19 – 20, 2013

Finance Ministers' Meeting (FMM)

 

Bali

 

September 30 to October 1, 2013

Conference on Clean, Renewable, and Sustainable Energy in the APEC Region

Bali

 

October 1 – 2, 2013

High Level Policy Dialogue on Travel Facilitation

Bali

October 1 – 2, 2013

Concluding Senior Officials' Meeting (CSOM)

Bali

October 4 – 5, 2013

APEC Ministerial Meeting (AMM)

Bali

October 6 – 7, 2013

APEC CEO Summit

Bali

October 7 – 8, 2013

APEC Economic Leaders' Meeting (AELM)

Bali

 

 

II. South West Pacific Dialogue (SwPD)

 

Indonesia's geographical position at the point of intersection between Asia and Pacific region naturally makes Indonesia function as a bridge or link between the two regions. The strategic position creates responsibility for Indonesia to play a more active role in the effort to protect and maintain the stability of the region. With such thinking framework, Pacific countries are the main priority of Indonesian regional politics  aside from ASEAN. Concrete manifestation of Indonesia's active stance in the Pacific region is reflected through the active participation of Indonesia as the originator of SwPD establishment in 2002 and as the Dialogue Partner of Pacific Islands Forum since 2001 and as state observer in the Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) since 2011.

 

The existence of SwPD is expected to be able to synergize with Indonesia's national interest and the interest of the region as a whole. Since its inception on October 5, 2002, SwPD forum has become an important forum for South West Pacific region, especially in facilitating dialogues between the foreign ministers of Australia, Indonesia, Philippines, New Zealand, Papua New Guinea and Timor Leste to discuss issues which become the interest of the region. This forum has encouraged discussions about the understanding of terrorism, democracy, maritime issues, and connectivity.

 

SwPD Ministerial Meeting is held once a year with rotating hosts. At first, the venue of the meeting is in a city in member states or in New York on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly. Since 2004, SwPD Ministerial Meeting has always been  held on the sidelines of ASEAN Ministerial Meeting/Post Ministerial Conference and ASEAN Regional Forum (AMM/PMC and ARF).

 

SwPD Ministerial Meeting has been held 10 times, i.e. in Jogjakarta (host: Indonesia) on October 5, 2002; in New York (host: New Zealand) on September 27, 2003; in Adelaide (host: Australia) on December 3, 2004; in Kuala Lumpur (host: Indonesia) on July 26, 2006; in Manila (host: Philippines) on July 31, 2007; in Singapore (host: Timor Leste) on July 22, 2008; in Phuket (host: PNG) on July 21, 2009; in Hanoi (host: New Zealand) on  July 23, 2010; in Bali (host: Australia) on July 21, 2011; in Phnom Penh (host: Indonesia) on July 11, 2012.

 

In the sub-region of South West Pacific, connectivity gap between member states of  SwPD is still significant. For example, Australia and New Zealand have excellent connectivity; meanwhile connectivity between Indonesia and the Philippines, Indonesia and PNG and between Indonesia and Timor Leste still needs to be improved. Therefore, Indonesia believes that the governments of South West Pacific member states need to develop cooperation to create a conducive environment for the participation of private sector in developing connectivity between SwPD member states. Such cooperation can be done through the framework of bilateral and trilateral cooperation.

 

Besides physical connectivity, people-to-people contact is also important to be developed. In this regard, cooperation of people-to-people contact which has been routinely offered by Indonesia to the member states of SwPD, among others are:

 

1. The Indonesian Art and Culture Scholarship

2. Journalist Visit Program

3. the Dharmasiswa Scholarship and the Developing Countries Partnership Scholarship

4. Diplomatic Training Course for Diplomats

5. the Indonesian Technical Cooperation among Developing Countries Program

 

Through Cultural and Educational Cooperation as well as Interfaith Dialogue, Indonesia tries to perform Confidence Building Measure (CBM) with the community of SwPD member states.

 

During the 10th SwPD Ministerial Meeting in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, the Foreign Ministers agreed to hold the 11th SwPD Ministerial Meeting with the Philippines as the host which will be held on the sidelines of the implementation of the 46th AMM/PMC and the 20th ARF in Brunei Darussalam in July 2013.

 

III. Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG)

 

Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) is an organization whose members are countries with population consisting of Melanesian ethnic group, namely Fiji, Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and Kanaky ethnic representative - New Caledonia Kanak and Socialist National Liberation (FLNKS). MSG was originally a solidarity of countries with Melanesian ethnicity population which was established on March 14, 1988 through the Agreed Principles of Cooperation Among Independent States of Melanesia.

 

On June 7, 1996, a document with the same title, namely "Agreed Principles of Cooperation Among Independent States of Melanesia" was signed in Kiriwana, Trobriand Island, which contains a statement stating that they agree on the cooperation to improve the economy of the member states.

 

The decision to make MSG as a sub-regional organization was specified in an agreement entitled "Agreement Establishing the Melanesian Spearhead Group" whose draft was completed in March 2007. In the Agreement it was agreed to include FLNKS from  New Caledonia as a member with reservation to articles 10, 11, and 12 in accordance with article 19, paragraph 5 of the Agreement which regulate members with the status of an organization/region which is not an independent state.

 

In the 16th Summit in Goroka, Papua New Guinea on August 19, 2005, the member states agreed on the establishment of the MSG Secretariat, which was based in Port Vila. On April 14-15, 2008, a series of MSG meetings were held that culminated in the 17thSummit in Port Vila, Vanuatu, and at the same time  the inauguration of the Secretariat of the organization was held.

 

In the 18th MSG summit in Fiji, Indonesia was accepted as an Observer. By becoming an observer in the MSG, Indonesia will be able to work together more closely and to contribute to MSG member states in the form of economic and technical cooperation, including capacity building programs and other technical assistance. Indonesia is also committed to contribute to the development of MSG Regional Police Academy.

 

In March 2012, MSG Special Summit was held to discuss economic issues, trade issues, socio-cultural issues and climate change issues. Indonesian delegation at the meeting was chaired by the Director General of Public Information and Diplomacy who conveyed Indonesia's commitment to continue developing cooperation with MSG member states.

 

The 2013 MSG Summit was held in Noumea, New Caledonia on June 20-21, 2013.

 

IV. Pacific Islands Forum (PIF)

 

Pacific Islands Forum (PIF) is the main organization in the Pacific region which was established in 1971 bearing the name: South Pacific Forum (SPF). PIF member states include 16 countries namely: Australia, Cook Islands, Federated States of Micronesia, Fiji, Kiribati, Marshall Islands, Nauru, Niue, Palau, Papua New Guinea, Samoa, New Zealand, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Tuvalu, and Vanuatu.

 

Besides the permanent members, PIF has two associate members, namely New Caledonia and French Polynesia. PIF also has 13 dialogue partners, namely the United States, China, the Philippines, India, Indonesia, the Great Britain, Japan, Canada, Korea, Malaysia, France, Thailand, and the European Union. Indonesia has become PIF’s dialogue partner since 2001.

 

Since 1989 the Post Forum Dialogue (PFD) is a routine meeting of PIF with dialogue partner countries and selected organizations. The Post Forum Dialogue (PFD) is held after PIF leaders’ meeting. Since Indonesia became PIF’s dialogue partner, Indonesia has always been present in PFD-PIF meetings.

 

Indonesia's participation as PIF dialogue partner cannot be separated from the importance of the region for Indonesia. The important elements in Indonesia’s relations with Pacific region are among other things:

 

Indonesia strengthens good relations with all neighboring countries including countries in the Pacific region. Reciprocal relation between Indonesia and other Pacific countries is believed to be able to create stable and productive cooperation.

 

Indonesia’s relation with Pacific countries is multidimensional. Besides developing bilateral cooperation, Indonesia has also established regional cooperation such as PIF.

 

Indonesian’s relation with Pacific countries is developed based on issues that become common concern. Geographically, most of Indonesian region is part of the Pacific region. Indonesia also has the same challenges as the Pacific region such as connectivity issues and disaster management issues.

 

As a form of Indonesia’s contribution as a dialogue partner country, Indonesia is committed to providing technical cooperation programs and other technical assistance to PIF member states within the framework of bilateral and regional cooperation. In this regard, Indonesia has invited and included countries in the Pacific region in various workshops and trainings held by the Government of Indonesia.

 

Besides that, Indonesia also invites officials of PIF member countries to participate in Bandung Spirit Program (BSP) which is held every two (2) years in Indonesia. For 2013,  nine officials from the Cook Islands, Fiji, Marshall Islands, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands participate in BSP. The participants of BSP visited Ternate, North Maluku Province which has similar nature and geographical characteristics to the other Pacific countries.

 

The last PIF meeting is the 43rd meeting which was been held on August 27 – 31, 2012 in Rarotonga, Cook Islands, attended by all member states of PIF, except Fiji whose membership are being suspended. The 43rd PIF has the theme "Large Oceans Islands States - the Pacific Challenges" which is aimed at maintaining a balance between development and conservation of marine resources. The main issues discussed in the meeting were fisheries, marine conservation, climate change, gender equality and international cooperation.

 

The 24th PFD meeting as part of the 43rd PIF meeting discussed two thematic issues which became the concern of countries in the Pacific region, namely: (i) Large Ocean Island States: Pacific Challenges which focuses on fisheries, marine conservation and exploration of the deep sea; (ii) Enhancing Development Cooperation which focuses on the efforts to strengthen the national system through cooperation with partner countries.

 

For Indonesia, the marine theme in 2012 PIF is in line with the concept of blue economy which becomes part of the marine and fisheries industrialization policy in Indonesia. The marine sector can provide opportunity to enhance economic cooperation, people-to-people contacts and technical cooperation between Indonesia and Pacific countries.

 

The 25th PFD-PIF Ministerial Meeting will be held on the Marshall Islands on September 6, 2013.

 

V. Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR - ARC)

 

Background

 

Indian Ocean Rim Association for Regional Cooperation (IOR-ARC) is one of the regional organizations in the Indian Ocean region. IOR-ARC was established in March 1997 in Mauritius. IOR-ARC consists of 20 countries (Commoros Union was stipulated as the 20th member in the 12th IOR-ARC Ministerial Meeting on November 2012 in India) located in a strategic area for trade route and economic corridor connecting the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. Indonesia has interest in this region because this region is the economic corridor that connects the Pacific Ocean and the Atlantic Ocean. IOR - ARC is expected to boost cooperation in economy, trade and investment and to promote people-to-people contact among the countries in the Indian Ocean who are members of the IOR-ARC.

 

IOR-ARC aims to facilitate trade and investment in the region. The IOR-ARC cooperation is implemented through three channels, namely government, academician and business channels. The IOR-ARC cooperation framework is developed through three Working Groups, namely:

 

a. Academician Working Group, through the IOR-Academic Group (IORAG) forum,

b. Business People Working Group, through IOR-Business Forum (IOR-BF) and

c. Trade and investment activities, through the Working Group on Trade and Investment (WGTI).

 

Each member state has a focal point on each of the pillars of cooperation to promote effective cooperation in each of the pillars and to ensure that various views and interests are fully reflected in the IOR-ARC organization's work program. Meanwhile, the institutional mechanism of cooperation is implemented through the Council of Ministers (COM) meeting which is held once a year and the Committee of Senior Officials (CSO) meeting which is held twice a year.

 

Indonesia's role in IOR-ARC

 

Indonesia is an active member of IOR ARC. Since the 8th Council of Ministers (COM) meeting in May 2008 in Tehran, Indonesia has been directly involved  in several IOR-ARC projects, among others, proposing the implementation of Training on Micro-Finance, offering Developing Countries Cooperation Scholarship Program  (KNB) and Dharmasiswa Program for Non-Degree Program. Besides that, Indonesia has also had the opportunity to carry out sharing of knowledge related to Indonesia’s strategic actions in handling the bird flu in the country.

 

In 2010, Indonesia has participated in several activities in the framework of IOR-ARC cooperation, namely: (1) 2010 Iran Biotech on April 13-15, 2010 in Iran, (2) Specialized Training Course for Foreign Diplomats for IOR-ARC Member States on April 28 - May 11, 2010, (3) IOR-ARC Regional Experts Meeting on Herbal Medicine Processing in Tehran on May 19-21, 2010. As a follow-up of the meeting, Indian Ocean Rim Traditional Medicine Network (IORTMNET) will be established and India is willing to host the same meeting in 2012.

 

Besides that, Indonesia has also actively participated in several Sub-Committees to discuss specific issues, among others: (1) Member of Governing Committee for  Special Fund since 2008 up to 2010, (2) Member of the Sub-Committee for discussing the restructuring of the Indian Ocean Rim Academic Group (IORAG) which was originated by Oman, (3) Member of Sub Committee for discussing amendments to the statutes of University Mobility in the Indian Ocean Region (UMIOR).

 

Recent Developments

 

In the 11th Council of Ministers meeting in 2011 in Bangalore, IOR-ARC has established six priority areas, namely: (i) Maritime Safety and Security, (ii) Facilitation of Trade and Investment, (iii) Fisheries Management, (iv) Disaster Risk Mitigation, (v) Academics and Science Cooperation and (vi) Technology, Tourism Promotion and Cultural Exchange. These six priority areas are in line with Indonesian priorities, especially in maritime, tourism and cultural exchange cooperation. Indonesia has interest in developing Indonesian waters as a potential trade route and in using marine resources in science and technology as well as tourism sectors.

 

At the 12th  Council of Ministers (COM) meeting on November 2, 2012 in Gurgaon, India, Indonesia was stipulated as Vice Chairman for the 2013-2015 period and as Chairman for the 2015-2017 period. Therefore Indonesia will be the host of a series of IOR-ARC Ministerial Meetings which generally consist of 3 subfora/Working Groups meeting at the technical level of IORAG, IORBF and WGTI, followed by the  SOM (CSO) and PTM (COM) levels.

 

Several  results of the meeting were the organization's name change from IOR-ARC to Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA), Commoros Union becomes the 20th  member of Indian Ocean Rim Association and the United States becomes the 6th dialogue partner.

 

VI. African Union

 

African Union consists of 54 countries on the African continent which constitutes the regional organization for cooperation and unites all of the countries on the African continent. Established on September 9, 1999 with headquarters located in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the African Union is a major development for the relations and cooperation among the countries on the African continent.

 

The main objective of the African Union establishment is to abolish the remnants of the influence of colonialism and the apartheid system, to promote unity and solidarity among African countries, to establish coordination mechanism to support increased cooperation among the countries in Africa, to safeguard and defend the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the member states and to promote international cooperation within the framework of the United Nations.

 

By being members of the African Union, the countries in Africa are able to coordinate their interests and positions related to issues which become common interest in international forums. In other words, through the spirit of regionalism which is shown by African countries with their membership in the African Union not only has created an effective mechanism for cooperation in the region but at the same time has also  created a building block that is quite effective in uniting their visions and missions to promote  Africa’s common interest, especially in international forums.

 

Being aware of the developments in Africa, since January 2012 Indonesia has become one of the African Union observers and the Indonesian Ambassador in Addis Ababa is an Accredited Ambassador to the African Union. The status of African Union Observer has provided wider opportunities for Indonesia to boost cooperation with African countries as a whole.

 

Indonesia actively optimizes its observer status in the African Union to boost cooperation with African countries as a whole. One area of ​​cooperation developed by Indonesia with African Union is the agricultural sector, i.e. by providing technical cooperation and assistance in the form of training in the field of agriculture, namely the International Training Workshop on Water Management in Agriculture for African Union Member Countries which was held on May 15 – 17, 2013 in Addis Ababa and then followed by a field trip to Bali on May 18 - 23, 2013 for 9 participants from Liberia, Sudan, Kenya, Tunisia, Ethiopia, Mozambique, Tanzania, Uganda and Algeria. Besides that, Indonesia has also made a commitment to provide assistance in the form of 50 hand tractors for African Union Member Countries. The assistance is distributed through the African Union.

 

The Indonesian government has also been invited to attend the Special Anniversary Summit of the African Union which is the celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Organization of African Unity/African Union (OAU/AU). The event was held in Addis Ababa on May 25, 2013. Indonesia was invited to the anniversary because African Union considers that Indonesia has a major role in assisting the struggle for independence for African countries and Indonesia was the originator of 1955 Asian-African Conference in Bandung which is a form of solidarity for Asian and African countries, which in turn has encouraged the Non-Aligned Movement and G77.

 

Special Anniversary Summit is a series of the 21st African Union Summit and other related meetings. Several important results/proceedings of the 21st African Union Summit are the  Declaration of the OAU/AU 50th Anniversary which is the commitment of African leaders in achieving the vision of African Union, namely growth and development of the African continent which is driven by its own people, the African integration, the realization of peace and prosperity in Africa.

 

Besides that, the 21st African Union Summit also ratified the Strategic Action Plan of the African Union Commission (AUC) for the years 2014 to 2017 which constitutes a guideline for African Union member countries in achieving the African Union’s vision. The African Union development priorities for the next 50 years are in the field of human resource development (especially health, education, science, research, technology, and innovation); agriculture and agro-business processing; economic growth through industrialization, infrastructure development, agriculture, trade, and investment; peace, stability in the region and good governance; mobilization of natural resources and human; the creation of people-centered Union; strengthening the African Union institution and all of its organs.

 

Indonesia will increase cooperation with African Union in various fields, especially in the African Union priority areas.

 

VII. Arab League

 

The Arab League is a regional organization established on March 22, 1945. The Arab League consists of 22 Arab countries located in the North and Northeast of Africa, and the Middle East. The main objective of Arab League establishment is to promote cooperation among member countries and to improve coordination among member countries to promote common interest in the region and in international forums.

 

For Indonesia, the Arab League has great significance both historically and strategically. History of Indonesia's struggle in the fight for independence has shown that the Arab League is one of the few parties that recognized Indonesia’s independence on August 17, 1945. Meanwhile strategically, the Arab League has great significance in pursuing Indonesia’s national interest in international forums, especially concerning issues in which Indonesia has a common stance with the Arab League member countries.

 

Understanding the importance of enhancing cooperation with the Arab League has encouraged Indonesia to get closer to said regional organization. Indonesia's intention received positive response from the Arab League and starting from September 2012, the Indonesian Ambassador in Cairo has become Accredited Ambassador to the Arab League. With this status, Indonesia can attend several Arab League meetings and  has greater opportunity to seek for increased cooperation with Arab League member countries and to obtain the latest information concerning the development of cooperation in the regional organization.

 

VIII. The New Asian-African Strategic Partnership (NAASP)

 

Background

 

On April 22-23, 2005, the Asian and African countries renewed their solidarity, which has been established for a long time, in the Asian-African Summit 2005 in Jakarta. The meeting was attended by representatives of 106 Asian and African countries consisting of 54 Asian countries and 52 African countries. The Asian-African Summit 2005 has produced several final agreements:

 

• Declaration on the New Asian African Strategic Partnership (NAASP), Joint Ministerial Statement on the New Asian African Strategic Partnership Plan of Action, and the Joint Asian African Leaders' Statement on Tsunami, Earthquake and other Natural Disasters. The NAASP declaration is the manifestation of intra-regional “bridge” establishment with new strategic partnership commitment between Asia and Africa which covers three pillars of cooperation, namely political solidarity, economic cooperation and socio-cultural relations which cover the mechanism of interaction between governments, between regional/sub-regional organizations and between communities/people-to-people contact.

 

• A follow-up mechanism was agreed upon for the institutionalization process through the implementation of Summit once in 4 years which is held in conjunction with the Business Summit, the Ministerial Meeting every 2 years, as well as Sectoral Ministerial Meetings and other Technical Meetings if necessary.

 

NAASP Development

 

Since 2005 Indonesia and South Africa have become of NAASP Co-Chairs. In  performing the task as Co-Chairs, Indonesia has been active in the efforts to develop NAASP. During the 2006-2011 period Indonesia has successfully implemented 26 programs within the framework of NAASP cooperation, such as: NAASP-UNEP Workshop on Environmental Law and Policy in 2006; Asian African Forum on Genetic Resources, Traditional Knowledge, and Folklore in 2007, and Apprenticeship Program for Mozambican Farmers in 2010. Indonesia also served as the host of NAASP Ministerial Conference on Capacity Building for Palestine in 2008 which was attended by 218 participants from 56 countries and 3 international organizations.

 

The commitment to develop NAASP is also shared with NAASP participating countries;  for example, Malaysia  implemented Training Course for Diplomats in 2007 and Training Course in Disaster Management in 2008;  China implemented the 5th Training Program for Staff from African Chambers in 2009 and China-Zambia Trade and Investment Forum in 2010.

 

With a view to provide various recommendations for the NAASP Summit, the NAASP Senior Officials' Meeting (SOM) was held in Jakarta on October 12-13, 2009. This meeting successfully addressed several important agenda, especially the proposal on 8 Focus Areas of Cooperation which is intended as a mechanism to guide and direct  various schemes within the framework of NAASP cooperation that have been formulated in the 2005 Asian-African Summit into several activities that are realistic and results-oriented. Eight areas of cooperation which have been agreed upon in this meeting are Counter Terrorism; Combating Trans-national Organized Crime; Food Security; Energy Security; Small and Medium Enterprises; Tourism; Asian African Development University Network and Gender Equality and Women Empowerment. Several Asian countries such as Bangladesh, China, Japan, the Philippines, and Thailand have shown willingness to become Champion Countries in the areas of cooperation alongside Champion Countries from African countries. Indonesia itself has become a Champion Country from the Asian region alongside with Algeria from the African region for Counter-Terrorism cooperation.

 

NAASP Solidarity for Palestinian

 

Indonesia and NAASP member states are concerned with the fact that the Palestinian nation is the only participant of the first Asian-African Summit that has not enjoyed full independence. Therefore, Indonesia has initiated and hosted the NAASP Ministerial Conference on Capacity Building for Palestine which was held in Jakarta on July 14-15, 2008.

 

In the meeting, it was agreed that NAASP is committed to provide assistance in the form of capacity building program for 10,000 Palestinians within the next 5 years (2008-2013). On this occasion, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has expressed Indonesia’s commitment to take part in realizing the project by providing training for 1,000 Palestinians.

 

The Implementation of Solidarity and Commitment for the Capacity Building for Palestine within the Framework of NAASP

 

Indonesia, South Africa and Palestine as Coordinating Unit for NAASP Capacity Building for Palestine are mandated to monitor and facilitate various efforts undertaken by NAASP member states within the framework of capacity building for Palestine. Indonesia implemented its role as the coordinator for Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bangladesh, Brunei Darussalam, China, the Philippines, India, Iran, Japan, South Korea, Cambodia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Pakistan, Singapore, Sri Lanka, Syria, Thailand, Timor Leste and Vietnam. By 2010, several NAASP member states had submitted reports on the implementation of their commitment for capacity building for Palestinian, among others are: India (102 Palestinians), Japan (393 Palestinians), South Korea (182 Palestinians), Malaysia (121 Palestinians), Singapore (16 Palestinians). As Co-Chair of NAASP Asia Chapter, Indonesia also noted the success of Turkey which has provided capacity building programs for 722 Palestinians. In this case, Indonesia continues its effort to meet the commitment of capacity building for the Palestinians. As of May 2013, Indonesia has managed to provide training for 1,246 Palestinians.

 

The last Coordinating Unit Meeting for NAASP Capacity Building for Palestine was held in Amman, Jordan on December 2-3, 2010 and it has produced summary report that includes progress report and analytical report on the implementation of capacity building conducted by NAASP member states. The results of the meeting will be presented at the ministerial meeting and the 2nd NAASP Summit.

The Implementation of Indonesia's commitment

 

Based on the results/outcomes of the 20th African Union Summit which was held on January 2013, it was decided that NAASP is a part of cooperation mechanism within the African Union.

 

Conclusion

 

NAASP is still an important forum and it has potential for cooperation among the countries in the two continents. In a changing world, NAASP like other international forum has an obligation to address many challenges that exist nowadays. Undoubtedly in Palestinian issue, the issues of freedom and independence are still the main priorities for NAASP. For others, the issues of stability and the welfare of the Asian and African people are the major themes for cooperation that bring the two continents together. Indonesia believes that by working together, the two continents are able to create stability, peace, and prosperity for their people.

 

IX. Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD)

 

A. Background

 

The Asia Cooperation Dialogue (ACD) is a dialogue forum established in 2002 in Cha-Am, Thailand. This forum discusses economy, culture, education, environment, health and disaster management.

 

ACD currently comprises 32 countries, namely Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bhutan, Brunei Darussalam, Cambodia, China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Khazakhstan, Republic of Korea, Kuwait, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, Myanmar, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Russia, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Sri Lanka, UAE, Tajikistan, Uzbekistan and Kyrgyzstan.

 

ACD is an informal meeting of foreign ministers from Asian countries and serves as a forum for dialogues and exchanging views on international issues, regional issues and sub-regional issues that become common interest. This forum is also used as a means to enhance cooperation in various sectors. ACD is also expected to bridge matters that have not been covered by existing formal cooperation in the Asian region up to the present date.

 

ACD Areas of Cooperation

 

 

No.

Areas of Cooperation

Prime Movers and Co-Prime Movers

1.     

Energy

Bahrain, Indonesia, Kazakhstan, Qatar, China, the Philippines and Lao PDR.

2.     

Poverty Alleviation

Bangladesh, Cambodia and Vietnam.

3.     

Agriculture

China, Pakistan and Kazakhstan.

4.     

Transport linkages

India, Kazakhstan and Myanmar.

5.     

Biotechnology

India.

6.     

E-Commerce

Malaysia.

7.     

Infrastructure Fund

Malaysia.

8.     

E-Education

Malaysia and Iran.

9.     

Asian Institute of Standards

Pakistan.

10.   

SMEs Cooperation

Singapore and Sri Lanka.

11.   

IT Development

Republic of Korea and Russia.

12.   

Science and Technology

The Philippines.

13.   

Tourism

Thailand, Cambodia, Myanmar, Pakistan and Bahrain.

14.   

Financial Cooperation

Thailand and Kazakhstan.

15.   

Human Resources Development

Vietnam and Thailand.

16.   

Environmental Education

Japan, Qatar and Bahrain.

17.   

Strengthening legal infrastructure

Japan.

18.   

Road Safety

Oman.

19.   

Natural Disaster

Russia.

20.   

Cultural Cooperation

Iran, India and Bahrain.

 

 

Indonesia's role in the ACD

 

Indonesia has joined ACD since its establishment in 2002. Besides various potential cooperation that could be developed, the ACD also has added value because it includes oil and gas exporting and importing countries as its members. Therefore, ACD can provide an important role in strengthening energy security for the region and its member states.

 

Indonesia also hopes that this cooperation can improve the efficiency in using energy, especially the use of renewable energy and alternative fuel to meet the national energy requirement.

 

In this regard, Indonesia has become ACD Co-Prime Mover in the field of energy together with Bahrain, China, the Philippines, Kazakhstan, Qatar and Laos. As a member of the Energy Co-Prime Movers, Indonesia has actively participated in various activities in the areas of cooperation, among other things are:

 

• Preparing concept paper "ACD: Concept Paper on Energy Security" and discussing it at the Meeting of ACD Prime Movers on Energy Security in Manama in February 2003;

 

• Preparing ACD Plan of Action on Energy which was discussed at the Meeting of ACD Co-Prime Movers on Energy Action Plan in Bali in April 2007;

 

• Organizing the 1st ACD Energy Forum which was held in Bali on September 26 - 28, 2005. The forum produced Joint Declaration of the 1st ACD Energy Forum;

 

• Organizing ACD Co-Prime Movers on Energy Action Plan in Bali on April 11 – 12, 2007 which specifies the focal point of each country in the field of energy to complete the discussion of Energy Action Plan;

 

• Participating in the ACD Energy Cooperation Conference; Energy and Climate Change: Challenges and Opportunity in Bahrain on November 26-27, 2008. Indonesia was represented by the Director of Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation, the Ministry of Energy and Mineral Resources who presented the material "Climate Change Issues and Its Implication on the ACD Member States" with a focus on the relation of energy and climate change; implications of climate change on the ACD member states and steps that need to be taken by ACD member states;

 

• Being a co-chair with the Philippines in organizing the ACD Energy Working Group Meeting on March 27, 2013 to finalize the PoA draft before the 12th ACD Ministerial Meeting in Tajikistan.

 

• At various ACD Ministerial Meeting, Indonesia has always expressed the need for Asian countries to give attention to energy security as an important element in economic growth and welfare distribution.

 

Cooperation structure and ACD meeting

 

ACD is a non-institutional and voluntary dialogue forum. The ACD chairmanship is rotated annually among the member states based on the voluntary principle. Tajikistan has become the ACD chairman since September 2012 up to the chairmanship transition period in September 2013. Based on the agreement of ACD member states, Bahrain will become the chairman of ACD replacing Tajikistan from September 2013 up to September 2014. Saudi Arabia will be the next ACD chairman after September 2014 replacing Bahrain chairmanship.

 

ACD foreign ministers meet regularly twice a year during the Foreign Minister's Breakfast Meeting in September on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York and the Ministerial Meeting held routinely in the country that hold the chairmanship of ACD in the current year. Besides the ministerial meeting, based on the areas of cooperation, member states can also hold sectoral meetings within the framework of ACD.

 

The first ACD Summit was held in Kuwait on October 17, 2012. The second ACD Summit is agreed to be held in Thailand in March 2015 and the third ACD Summit will be held in Iran in 2018. As a forum for dialogue, ACD has not had a permanent secretariat and Thailand as the originator of this forum acts as a coordinator. ACD is discussing the establishment of a permanent secretariat.

 

X. BRUNEI DARUSSALAM-INDONESIA-MALAYSIA-THE PHILIPPINES EAST ASEAN GROWTH AREA (BIMP-EAGA)

 

I. Introduction

 

1. The cooperation of Brunei Darussalam-Indonesia-Malaysia-the Philippines East ASEAN Growth Area (BIMP-EAGA) is a project-oriented collaboration which was formally established at the first Ministerial Meeting (PTM) in Davao City, the Philippines, on March 26, 1994.

 

2. The Indonesian national interests to be achieved through BIMP EAGA cooperation is to improve people's welfare and economic growth in the Indonesian regions directly adjacent to the BIMP member countries. In this cooperation, the private sector is expected to be a prime mover with the support of the government as a regulator and facilitator.

 

3. BIMP EAGA as the Sub-regional Economic Cooperation (KESR) is considered to be able to minimize the development gap and contribute to the economic integration of the ASEAN Economic Community 2015. BIMP EAGA is also a forum to implement existing agreements in ASEAN (test-bed). It is practiced by adopting various ASEAN agreements and discussing them at the sub-regional level.

 

4. The Indonesian provinces which become members of BIMP-EAGA are: West Kalimantan, East Kalimantan, South Kalimantan, Central Kalimantan, North Sulawesi, Southeast Sulawesi, South Sulawesi, Central Sulawesi, West Sulawesi, Maluku, North Maluku, Papua, West Papua, and Gorontalo.

 

5. Up to the present date BIMP-EAGA has held 9 Summits, 17 Ministerial Conferences, and 21 Senior Officials Meetings. The last BIMP-EAGA Summit was held in Bandar Seri Begawan, Brunei, on April 25, 2013.

 

II. BIMP-EAGA’s Collaboration Strategies

 

6. In order to realize the idea of ​​achieving prosperity and increased economic growth, BIMP EAGA has the following strategies:

 

a. Making the BIMP-EAGA as a food basket for the ASEAN region and other regions in Asia. Cooperation in the field of food basket is directed to ensure food security in the long term, and to maximize the potential of agriculture, livestock and fisheries.

 

b. Encouraging the BIMP-EAGA as a major ecotourism destination. The ecotourism cooperation emphasizes on the involvement of the central government and the role of local communities in utilizing natural and cultural resources to carry out sustainable tourism activities. The strategies that will be used through this cooperation are:

 

i. Creating types of tourism and infrastructure using CBET format as the main product;

ii. Facilitating the involvement of the private sector and the community in tourism activities, and

iii. Marketing tourism resorts in the BIMP areas of cooperation.

 

c. Improving connectivity into BIMP territory and reaching out in support of the Master Plan of ASEAN Connectivity (MPAC). Cooperation in the area of ​​connectivity is intended for:

 

i. Optimizing transportation by land, sea and air;

ii. Liberalizing flight routes in certain BIMP areas of cooperation; and

iii. Mobilizing resources to provide infrastructure, such as through public and private partnerships.

 

7. As a guideline in implementing the BIMP EAGA strategies, the 8th BIMP EAGA Summit held on April 4, 2012 in Phnom Penh ratified the 2012-2016 Implementation Blueprint which divides the cooperation into 4 main areas of Food Basket; Connectivity; Community Based Ecotourism (CBET) and Environment.

 

III. Cooperation partner

 

This forum also cooperates with the Asian Development Bank (ADB) as a regional adviser. BIMP EAGA also holds consultations with the ASEAN Secretariat to synchronize between BIMP EAGA agenda and the ASEAN Community agenda.

 

XI. INDONESIA-MALAYSIA-THAILAND GROWTH TRIANGLE (IMT-GT)

 

I. Introduction

 

1. The cooperation of Indonesia-Malaysia-Thailand Growth Triangle (IMT-GT) was launched at the first Ministerial Meeting in Langkawi, Malaysia on July 20, 1993.

 

2. Indonesia participates in the IMT-GT cooperation with the purpose to accelerate economic development of communities in the border region of IMT-GT member states through the use of competitive advantages of each region. In recent developments, as a sub-regional economic cooperation, IMT-GT can encourage ASEAN economic integration, in this case the 2015 ASEAN Economic Community through the implementation of existing agreements in ASEAN (test-bed).

 

3. Indonesian provinces that are members of the IMT-GT is Aceh, Bangka-Belitung, Bengkulu, Jambi, Lampung, South Sumatra, Riau, Riau Islands, North Sumatra and West Sumatra. IMT-GT regions in Malaysia are Kedah, Kelantan, Melaka, Negeri Sembilan, Penang, Perak, Perlis and Selangor. IMT-GT regions in Thailand are Krabi, Nakhon Si Thammarat, Narathiwat, Pattani, Phattalung, Satun, Songkhla, Trang, Yala, Chumphon, Ranong, Surat Thani, Phang Nga, Phuket.

 

4. In this cooperation pattern, the government acts as a regulator and facilitator; meanwhile the private sector becomes the prime movers and actors. In this regard, a medium has been established for entrepreneurs in the IMT-GT region which is called the Joint Business Council (JBC).

 

5. The agreement to establish the Secretariat of IMT-GT/Center for IMT-GT (CIMT) has been signed at the 7th Summit on April 25, 2013 in Brunei Darussalam. By signing the agreement, Indonesia continues the ratification process so that the agreement can be applied nationally. The establishment and operation of CIMT will assist the administrative aspect, including the development and progress in this cooperation.

 

II. Cooperation Development

 

The sixth IMT GT Summit on April 4, 2012 in Phnom Penh has ratified the 2012-2016 Implementation Blueprint which contains the systematic and institutions of the cooperation as well as a list of projects.

 

In the 7th Summit in Brunei Darussalam on April 25, 2013, the heads of state of IMT-GT member states expressed their concern on the connectivity issue and the implementation of priority projects.

 

III. IMT-GT projects

 

Projects in this cooperation includes (a) Transportation and Infrastructure; (b) Trade and investment; (c) Agriculture, agro-based industry and environment, (d) Tourism; (e) Halal Products and Services, and (f) Human resource development.

 

Several projects that are considered as "fast tracked" projects to sustain the relevance of IMT-GT are Melaka-Pekanbaru Power Interconnection and Melaka-Dumai RoRo connectivity.

 

XII. Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA)

 

1. Conference on Interaction and Confidence Building Measures in Asia (CICA) is an inter-governmental forum on Confidence Building Measures (CBM) that has developed in Central Asia since 2002. CICA member states seek to increase cooperation, create and reinforce peace, confidence and friendship in Asia to promote regional security. The main principle of CICA cooperation is respecting territorial sovereignty and integrity as the basis of relations between countries. The issue of separatism is considered as a major threat to the security, stability and unity of a country.

 

2. The establishment of CICA was originated by the President of Kazakhstan, Nursultan Nazarbayev in 1992.The main idea of CICA establishment is an efficient forum which is acceptable by Asian countries to create peace and stability. This idea received positive response from 16 countries that later participated in the first Ministerial Meeting on September 14, 1999. CICA has a Secretariat based in Almaty, Kazakhstan.

 

3. Currently, CICA has 24 permanent members, namely Afghanistan, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, China, India, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Cambodia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Egypt, Mongolia, Pakistan, Palestine, Republic of Korea, Russia, Tajikistan, Thailand, Turkey, United Arab Emirates, Uzbekistan, and Vietnam. The state observers among others are Indonesia, Japan, Malaysia, Qatar, Vietnam, Ukraine, United States and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE), the Arab League and the United Nations.

 

4. Mechanism of CICA meeting consists of:

 

a. Heads of State Summit, held every 4 years;

b. Ministerial Meeting (PTM), held every 2 years;

c. Senior Officials Committee (SOC),  held every year;

d. Special Working Group (SWG), held as necessary, related to a particular issue;

e. Specialized Meetings of Experts, held for technical matters and drafting of the concept on the implementation of CBM to be presented in SWG.

 

5. Kazakhstan was the first CICA Chairman since its establishment until 2009. Turkey served as CICA Chairman replacing Kazakhstan from 2010 to 2014. The next CICA Chairman is China (from 2014 to 2016).

 

6. Currently CICA is starting to build economic cooperation and develop a cooperation platform with other regional organizations. In the future projection, CICA gradually reforms the organization by improving the status of Executive Director to the General Director, and move the CICA Secretariat from Almaty to Astana.

 

7. Indonesia has become an observer since 2002. In the 1st CICA summit in 2002, the 2nd summit in 2006, and the 3rd summit in 2010, Indonesia sent representatives to attend the meeting with observer status. Indonesia also attended the 4th CICA Ministerial Meeting and the 20th CICA Anniversary in Astana on September 12, 2012.

 

8. Indonesia believes that the principle adopted by CICA is in line with Indonesian national interests, namely maintaining Indonesia's territorial integrity, the principle of non-intervention in the domestic affairs of each member state in order to prioritize dialogues as a solution in every problem between countries.

 

9. Indonesian involvement in the current stage as an observer at CICA constitutes the implementation of free and active foreign policy to be able to reach out to partner countries in south and central Asian region. In the medium and long terms CICA competency that can be utilized for Indonesia is counter terrorism, trafficking in persons, drug trafficking and small and medium scale economic development.

 

- o0o -

 

[1] Key Indicators Database and Bilateral Linkages Database November 2011. Stats APEC 2011. http://statistics.apec.org/