Kazakhstan paves way for greater cooperation with Indonesia

Our world faced numerous difficulties in 2022, with some being familiar, while others we might not have imagined just a year ago.

The situation in Ukraine has particularly influenced the entire world, including indirectly through economic downturns and unsettling geopolitical tensions.

The war’s after-effects have had an impact on all the economies, including of Kazakhstan, and the dangers of a worldwide recession and skyrocketing inflation are undermining business sentiment in the Central Asian area.

Kazakhstan could have turned inward against this difficult backdrop, especially given the tragic events that occurred in our country in January when we faced a coup attempt through armed violence.

At that time, several people were skeptical that Kazakhstan would ever recover. Some questioned whether this would be achieved, despite our pledges and firm commitments to reform, democratization, and continued protection of human rights.

As we near the end of this turbulent year, we can confidently state that Kazakhstan has kept its promises.

We have transformed our country through significant political and socioeconomic initiatives in addition to demonstrating our resilience and stability.

Following a nationwide referendum in June, it implemented constitutional amendments to reduce presidential powers, ensure a more influential parliament and an independent constitutional court, create new political parties, hold direct election of mayors, and make other important changes.

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In November, our country held a presidential election under the new Constitution. This means that all future heads of state, including current President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, will serve a single seven-year term without the right to be re-elected.

Fair and transparent elections have been an important milestone in our country’s democratic development.

The tragic events of January also taught us valuable lessons. Many of those who took part in the riots were granted amnesty. In addition, concrete measures were taken to prevent human rights violations.

Our collective efforts over the past 12 months have contributed to the development of a Just and Fair Kazakhstan that includes a prosperous society and a political system that is more vibrant, dynamic, and competitive.

Kazakhstan will have another significant year in 2023. Within the first six months, there will be elections for parliament.

Prior to the election, several new political parties have already emerged, adding to political plurality and competition.

In single-mandate constituencies, independent candidates will also be eligible to run for office for the first time in 18 years.

While transforming the domestic political system, we have not forgotten our international obligations.

The 6th summit of the Conference on Interaction and Confidence-Building Measures in Asia, which we established 30 years ago to improve cooperation for peace, security, and stability in Asia, took place in our capital in October.

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The Central Asian heads of state met with the European Council President Charles Michel in Astana in the same month.

It coincided with the 30th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between Central Asian nations and the European Union, which was symbolic.

We held the VII Congress of Leaders of World and Traditional Religions a month earlier.

It was the first visit of Pope Francis, as head of the Catholic Church to Kazakhstan, since Pope John Paul II in 2001 featured over 100 delegations from 50 nations.

During the same time, we welcomed China’s President Xi Jinping, whose first trip abroad following the COVID-19 pandemic was a state visit to Kazakhstan.

The domestic and foreign policy course taken by Kazakhstan has opened the door to enhanced cooperation with Indonesia, especially in the economic sphere.

There is a significant positive trend in bilateral trade volume recently. If last year, the trade turnover was US$174.2 million, a growth rate of over 100 percent, during 10 months of this year, it increased by 83 percent to US$295.4 million.

In August, we opened the Honorary Consulate of Kazakhstan in Surabaya as a bridge connecting the business circles of our countries.

The 1st Kazakh-Indonesian Trade and Investment Forum was successfully held during the same time. In September, we organized a familiarization trip for core tourist agencies of ASITA to Kazakhstan to promote tourism.

Certainly, the main mechanism for streamlining the realization of economic potential is the Kazakh-Indonesian Joint Commission for Economic Cooperation.

Several measures are planned to be conducted next year along with the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs of Indonesia.

Our efforts are focused on concrete areas: strengthening legal framework, investments, oil & gas, mining and manufacturing industry, financial sector, logistics, and healthcare.

Moreover, a lot of work is being done in close interaction with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

We are striving to consolidate Kazakh and Indonesian exporters and entrepreneurs on one web platform for operational communication, publishing information about their products, projects, orders, logistics routes, etc.

In the second quarter of 2023, we are expecting the visit of KADIN to Kazakhstan to hold the 2nd Kazakh-Indonesian Trade and Investment Forum and establish the Kazakh-Indonesian Business Council.

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We also aim to further develop cultural interaction and encourage citizens of both countries to travel to know more about each other.

This will create mutual understanding and respect for their respective histories, culture, and civilization and the beauty and nature of the two countries.

Overall, the future development of Kazakh-Indonesian ties has enormous potential. We have plenty of work to do to increase the beneficial outcomes of those bilateral ties.

As the world looks to navigate the challenges associated with current geopolitical and economic hardships, closer cooperation between Kazakhstan and Indonesia becomes essential.

We are determined to strengthen our ties with Indonesia in the coming year that marks the 30th anniversary of diplomatic relations between our countries.

We have established a solid foundation upon which to expand our cooperation. I have every reason to believe that we will accomplish our objectives together, as we share a desire for strong ties. (INE)

*) Daniyar Sarekenov is an extraordinary and plenipotentiary ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the Republic of Indonesia.

*) The views and opinions expressed on this page are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of the ANTARA News Agency.

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