The Indonesian Ambassador to India, Ina Hagniningtyas Krisnamurthi has wished India success for the forthcoming G 20 Presidency and expressed confidence that it will be an excellent champion in navigating the world through this turbulent time.
Indonesia is home to the largest number of Muslims in the world. It has an estimated 231 million Muslims. This is 86.7% of the Indonesian population and nearly 13% of the world’s total population of Muslims.
Addressing a session ‘India-Indonesia: Recover Together. Recover Stronger’ organised by Ananta Aspen Centre here on Tuesday, Ambassador Krisnamurthi said, “ 21st century is the Asian century and I believe India and Indonesia will play significant role. Indonesia and India are working hand in hand towards mutual interest with consecutive G 20 presidencies. She said that India will elevate the digital agenda on our Presidency to the next level.
At the same time, she said that both countries need to strengthen people to people contacts and step up cooperation in other areas including defence and trade investments.
Indonesia is hosting the 17th G 20 leaders summit in Nusa Dua, Bali on November 15 and 16. Ambassador Krisnamurthy said that at the conclusion of the summit, Indonesia is “so looking forward” to hand over the Presidency to India as also to host Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
The Ambassador explained that Bali has been chosen as the summit venue because it has reputation of being peaceful. “ It is our hope that Bali will rejuvenate after this summit.’’
She said that Indonesia and India helped each other during the COVID 19 pandemic and emerged stronger. She congratulated India for overtaking U.K. as the fifth largest economy in the world. She said that Indonesia is projected to become the fifth largest economy by 2030.
The Indonesian envoy said that bilateral trade between India and Indonesia is 21 billion USD but there is still lot of scope. “ Our leaders have envisioned 50 billion USD by 2030. So, we do hope that we are able to reach that.’’
She pointed out that while major economies are facing high inflation, India and Indonesia are prudent with their macro economic policies and are able to control our inflation.
After greeting the audience with a ‘Salam Alaikum’, ‘Namaskar’ and ‘May Peace be upon us all’ at the event, Ambassador Krisnamurthi said, “ India Indonesia relations are not only beneficial to each other but to the entire region and to Asia.’’
The envoy went on to say that it is impossible to have a strong Indo pacific without a strong ASEAN.
She said that Indonesia has faced huge challenges from the time it took over the G 20 Presidency in December 2021. “It is a proud milestone for Indonesia. As G 20 Chair this year, Indonesia has been caught in the centre of geopolitical storm.”
She said that there have been sharp differences among G 20 members. “ You may recall that in March, some countries even wanted to boycott all G 20 meetings if Russia is in the same room.”
Krisnamurthi said, “The war in Ukraine was an eye opener to many. The war has caused suffering to civilians and all. It got everybody edgy and wanting to boycott. We want to have a safer world to grow, to prosper.’’
She added that unfortunately some meetings failed to produce outcomes which are important reference for future G 20 meetings. This is because of strong position by countries against the invasion of Ukraine.
When a journalist voiced the apprehension that some world leaders may not be on talking terms at the summit in Bali due to geopolitical tensions, the envoy replied ‘’If countries don’t want to take pictures, it is not important. They are listening, They have accepted our invitation. G 20 is not about solidarity. It is about policy.’’
The Indonesian envoy said that Indonesia has strived to bridge differences. “Continuity is also priority for G 20. We need to create more impactful solutions. We count on India’s support to continue the principle of consensus. Troika is the best way to consolidate continuity in terms of what G 20 wants to be year on year. One year is very short time for the Presidency to achieve everything.”
Replying to a question, the Indonesian envoy said, “ We have already invited the Pacifics as they are our neighbours and we want them to be heard because of climate change and sustainable development goals.’’
During the hour- long interaction, India’s former Ambassador to Indonesia, Ambassador Gurjit Singh said that one cannot think of a better player than Indonesia and ASEAN because that is one area that has remained peaceful. “ So, you are a torch-bearer of a peaceful world.’’
At the same time, Gurjit Singh reminded the Indonesian envoy that Indonesia has a burden of expectations as it will chair ASEAN and East Asia Summit next year.