Tendai Mugabe Senior Reporter
Indonesia has expressed its willingness to work closely with President Mnangagwa’s Government in several areas of economic development. This was revealed by Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s special envoy, Dr Nur Hassan Wirajuda, who met Foreign Affairs and International Trade Minister Lieutenant-General Sibusiso Moyo (Retired) in Harare on Friday.
He said his country was organising an Indonesia-Africa Summit to be held in April, and Zimbabwe had confirmed its participation.
Dr Wirajuda said he also submitted to Minister Moyo a request for support for Jakarta’s candidature in the United Nations Council non-permanent member elections set for June.
“I came here as a special envoy of the President of Indonesia at the early stage of transition in Zimbabwe,” he said.
“The purpose of the visit is to explore ways and means of how to improve bilateral relations, because we so far focus on trade, but I believe we can extend even our bilateral relations to other areas of cooperation.
“Our bilateral trade are exports from Zimbabwe, mainly tobacco as well as cotton. We see the potential, especially as you enter a new stage of transition and we anticipate that you will reach political stability.
“But also political stability will mean progress in many areas of economic cooperation. Likewise, Indonesia is growing. We, 18 years ago, also had difficult transitions and we managed quite well like what you are going to do here in June or July. The first thing we did in Indonesia was to conduct elections. We only had six months to prepare (for) elections.”
Dr Wirajuda described his meeting with Minister Moyo as fruitful and productive.
He said they exchanged notes on several issues relating to international affairs.
“When I met your Foreign Affairs Minister, we talked about the potential of our two countries working together, and its important that as friends, Indonesia hopes that you manage the transition well and you develop political stability as basis for economic development,” he said.
“We have a good history of working together as members of Non-Aligned Movement. Of course, another area beyond trade is investment in many different areas. We are focusing more now in Indonesia on infrastructure.
“In Algeria, our construction company has been operating for 10 years. We are exploring here where we can cooperate. On capacity building, we are offering scholarships, including for students here in Zimbabwe.
“We then also talked about cooperation between our two countries on many international organisations; for example, elections. Whenever possible, we support each other and in that regard I also submitted a request from Indonesian Government for support for our candidature in the UN Security Council non-permanent membership in June.
“We are very pleased that your Foreign Affairs Minister has conveyed to me that the President of Zimbabwe has decided to support Indonesia as a friend.”