Nusa Dua, InfoPublik - Coordinating Maritime Affairs Minister Luhut Binsar Panjaitan affirmed that Indonesia should be proud because in the Indonesia Africa Forum (IAF) 2018, African countries were stunned by the achievements of Indonesia's developments in all sectors, especially in infrastructure and economy.

"They are amazed to see the condition of Indonesia today. Thus, they are very enthusiastic and give high appreciation to Indonesia through the Foreign Affairs Ministry that has facilitated IAF and hope that the forum continue to be held regularly every year," said Minister Luhut who was accompanied by Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi at the Bali Nusa Dua Convention Center (BNDCC), Tuesday night (4/10).

Minister Luhut also said that the presence of a number of Indonesia’s State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) at the IAF 2018 also made African countries delegations enthusiastic to establish further cooperation ranging from investment to transfer of knowledge in science and technology fields.

Indonesia, according to them, has been like a brother with a 55 year of history, so it is appropriate that Indonesia would have a more significant role to build and invest in Africa.

"Minister Retno has informed me about the bilateral cooperation and business transactions including investment in Africa. Many deals or agreements are sealed in this forum. This is very good. The investments are ranging from oil palm plantation, port management, to aircraft maintenance. We should be proud of these," he explained.

Meanwhile, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi added that this forum was held for the first time by Indonesia as the host as well as the initiator.

"There are at least 46 African countries attend the forum. They bring lots of delegations. Indonesia is not only getting business transactions related to investment, tourism, and cooperation but also strengthening the long-standing close relation," she said.

According to her, on the first day of IAF, 10 April 2018, several discussion panels were held between Indonesia and African countries on policy making and strategic topics, such as economic diplomacy, infrastructure development, financing facility initiatives, digital transformation, and strategic industries cooperation.

Meanwhile on Wednesday (4/11), an Indonesia-Africa Business Forum was held to discuss issues such as connectivity, digital economy, agriculture, small and medium enterprises (SME), South-South and Triangular Cooperation, and the future of Indonesia-Africa economic relations. (Translator: Rina Alexandra)