Greater partnership between the Netherlands and Indonesia

The next few years will see greater partnership between the Netherlands and Indonesia in sustainable trade and production, water management and law. This was announced by Ben Knapen, Minister for European Affairs and International Cooperation, on the first day of his working visit to Indonesia. The Netherlands will also continue to invest in its relationship with Indonesia, and over 50 million euros has been earmarked for this purpose in 2011.

‘I have talked with my Indonesian counterparts about the new focus of Dutch development policy, and about how it can help to strengthen the broad relationship between our two countries,’ said Mr Knapen. He emphasised that security and the legal order, food security, and water offer many opportunities for cooperation with Indonesia. ‘We know each other well. The Netherlands and Indonesia are strategic partners: in both countries there are many businesses and organisations that are naturally drawn to each other. My ambition is to invest in the sectors where the Netherlands can provide genuine added value and where there are opportunities for Dutch companies.’

On the first day of his visit, Mr Knapen also discussed human rights and the fight against corruption. Since the beginning of the Reformasi era in 1998, Indonesia has achieved a great deal in the field of human rights. ‘Like the fight against corruption, the position of minorities requires constant attention,’ said Mr Knapen, ‘even in a democracy.’

During the second part of his visit, which ends on 7 July, Mr Knapen will discuss the input of Dutch expertise in tackling Jakarta’s flooding problem: due to ground subsidence, large parts of the capital are often flooded.