REMARKS BY CONSUL GENERAL OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA AT THE RECEPTION OF THE 71ST INDEPENDENCE DAY ANNIVERSARY OF THE REPUBLIC OF INDONESIA, Vancouver, 23 August 2016

Honorable Marc Dalton, MLA for Maple Ridge-Mission

Honourable MLAs

His Worship Mayor, Acting Mayor and City Councillor

Distinguished Colleagues, Consuls General and member of Consular Corps,

Distinguished Guests,

Ladies and Gentlemen.

Good evening,
selamat malam

On behalf of the Government and people of the Republic of Indonesia, I wish to warmly welcome you all to the reception on the occasion of the 71st Anniversary of Independence Day of the Republic of Indonesia.

I wish to express our heartfelt thanks to Honourable Marc Dalton  who is present today as the representative of BC Government. It is an honour for us to have the presence MLAs, the officials of BC Government, City of Vancouver, Langley and Township Langley, City of Abbotsford, Consuls General, and other distinguished guests on this occasion. I also wish to recognize the presence of Mr.Askolani, the Director General of Budget, Ministry of Finance of the Republic of Indonesia.

Independence Day celebrations for all nations has been special significance, including for the Indonesian people who were celebrating the 71st Anniversary of the Independence Day on last August 17.  On this occasion, the Indonesian government and its people are sincerely grateful for the congratulatory messages we received from foreign dignitaries, including from Premier Christy Clark.  We would also like to extend our heartfelt thanks to the City of Vancouver for the opportunity to hoist Indonesian flag at Vancouver City Hall on August 17, for the first time since the establishment of the Indonesian Consulate General in 1982. Indonesian diaspora should be proud of this historic moment which reflects broader scope, not only as a symbolic and ceremonial  gesture, but also reinforce our presence as part of BC community.

The anniversary of our independence day this year become more special since we got the best gift from Indonesia’s badminton team who won an Olympic gold medal at Rio on that day.

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

We are grateful that in the midst of global economic downturn, Indonesia’s economy shows a stable growth. In the first and second quarter of 2016, the economic growth reached 4,91 % and 5,18% respectively. The figure surpassed the average of global and developing countries’ economic growth, and  we are  optimistic that Indonesia’s economic growth will continue to prove resilient as one of the highest in Asia.

In this connection, we proudly acknowledge the strengthening bilateral relationship between Indonesia and Canada for over 64 years. Statistics show a steady increase in the trade balance between Indonesia and Canada for the past 5 years, which has reached CAD 676 million in 2015. While regarding the trade relations with BC, in 2015 Indonesia ranked the first position for BC exports to ASEAN region, worth CAD 236,5 million.

During my tenure in office, we learn huge potential opportunities that can be developed between Indonesia and Canada. We view that the recent visits by high level government officials and leading companies in British Columbia and Alberta to Indonesia,  and vice versa,  to explore mutual beneficial cooperation have proved to be effective to boost the bilateral trade and investment ties. Furthermore, the increase participation in the potential trade shows in our two countries have been valuable to accelerate trade.

Still in the economic sector, we would highlight tremendous achievements in our collaborative activities with related institutions in British Columbia, such as Business Forum in Vancouver last November. The Forum has successfully served as a medium of link and match between related stakeholders. We are confident that the relations will even be robust in the future, as the government of British Columbia has announced the opening of trade and investment office in Jakarta.  We are pleased to learn that the office will be in operational in the near future.  Taking into account the strategic position of Jakarta as the capital city of Indonesia and ASEAN, we are of the view that the establishment of BC office in Jakarta is very timely. We wish that the existence of the Jakarta office will smoothen the pathway to enhance BC trade and investment cooperation with Indonesia and other countries in the ASEAN region.

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

Partnership becomes one of the crucial pillars to develop potential cooperation with our accredited regions. For years, we have enjoyed strong support from our counterparts not only in the economic sector, but also in other areas, including education, social and culture. We value the importance to maintain and expand the fruitful partnership in the years to come.

In terms of education, beside excellent progress of cooperation between Universities in British Columbia with universities and other institutions in Indonesia, we are proud to have collaboration with Simon Fraser University to exhibit “Wayang Kulit” or shadow puppet, which has been acknowledged by UNESCO as “Masterpiece of Oral and Intangible Heritage of Humanity”. The exhibition takes place in SFU Museum of Archeology and Ethnology from April 2016 to January 2017, aimed to share our heritage to the public of Canada.

The Indonesian Consulate General has also stepped up efforts to get Indonesian culture closer to the public of Canada. On this auspicious occasion, we have the pleasure to cordially invite you to join us in our spectacular event “Destination Indonesia” which will be held in UBC Robson Square on September 17. This event is aimed at, not only promoting wonderful Indonesia, but also enriching the value of multiculturalism in the beautiful British Columbia.

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

Indonesian community is proud to be part of multicultural society in Canada. Despite small numbers for about 5.000 people in the western and northern region of Canada, we acknowledge important roles and contribution of Indonesian diaspora in various sectors. One of outstanding achievement which deserves appreciation is the inspiring “Oral History Project” by Canada Indonesia Diaspora Society. This project is designed to become a pathway to reach our elders and initiate effective engagement with the larger communities, as well as to recognize their contribution and help to build fruitful intergenerational relationships. We wish that the project would contribute to enrich the composing of the history of immigrant communities in Canada, particularly BC.

DISTINGUISHED GUESTS, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN,

I would acknowledge that the commencement of our missions will not be in place without great supports by relevant entities. Therefore, in addition to government officials in the Province of BC, Alberta, Yukon and Northwest Territories, I would like to extend our gratitude and appreciation to Boards of Trade, business people, academia, media  and the entire society for being active in engaging the Indonesian Consulate General in their program activities.  I have viewed abundant potential opportunities which could be developed between Indonesia and Canada, and I look forward to working closer for stronger bilateral relations in the near future.

Before concluding my remarks, I would like to thank to Mr. Victor Sihombing  who has beautifully sung the National Anthems of Canada and Indonesia. My appreciation also goes to Mr.Sutrisno Hartana and gamelan community who performed Javanese enchanting gamelan music, and to Ms.Firda Wijaya who will perform wonderful traditional dance.

I would express my sincerest thanks and appreciation to all the staffs of the Indonesian Consulate General who have worked hard to prepare and make this event a success.

Once again, thank you for coming and please enjoy the rest of the evening.

Now, may I kindly invite Honorable Marc Dalton to deliver his remarks.

Terima kasih, Dirgahayu Republik Indonesia.

I thank you.

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