Mariecar Jara-Puyod, Senior Reporter
Visiting Indonesia Ministry of Trade-Directorate General of National Export Development director general Dody Edward said the Widodo Administration sees “Expo2020 Dubai” as a significant milestone that all sectors of Southeast Asia’s largest economy have been directed to take an active role in it, not only for their country’s continuous prosperity but for the world as well.
Edward is Jakarta’s designated over-all in-charge of the Indonesia Pavilion situated at the Opportunity Sector, in between the Lebanon Pavilion and Baden-Wurttemberg (Germany’s second) Pavilion, of the world exposition site situated south of Dubai.
The groundbreaking ceremonies on Monday morning were attended by Indonesia Creative Economic Minister Triawan Munaf, Ambassador to the UAE Hussein Bagis, Consul General in Dubai and the Northern Emirates Ridwan Hassan, and Jakarta Delegation members Bambang Prijambodo and Restog Krisna Kusuma.
Bagis personally delivered President Joko Widodo’s Expo2020 Dubai correspondence to UAE Vice President and Prime Minister and Ruler of Dubai His Highness Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, through Expo2020 Dubai director general Reem Al Hashemy, in mid-November 2018.
Hassan said pavilion construction hopefully starts this year.
Monday evening was the celebratory Groundbreaking Ceremonies-Gala Night attended by dignitaries from the host government, chambers of commerce and industries, the diplomatic and business communities.
Edward told Gulf Today their presence at “Expo2020 Dubai” is brought about by the cooperation among government/state-owned corporations/business/private individuals.
“We want to seize the opportunities we can offer to the world through Expo2020 Dubai. That as a diverse people and as a nation blessed with abundant natural resources, talent and local wisdom; what we have become and what we have learnt; that through all the advancing technology, in-born creativity and new discoveries we have through all these years, we can play an active role as well as contribute for all the concerns we have in this world,” Edward said.
“We want to explore. We want to expand (our horizons) too,” he added.
Edward reiterated what Munaf had mentioned in his speech, that Indonesia, as an investments hub with a population of 271 million, is also a “Land of Opportunities,” consisting of 66 per cent or 179 million young productive workforce, over 60 million middle class potential consumers, and a creative sector of over 70 million 56 per cent of 39 million of which are women.
He echoed what Munaf and Bagis had stated in their respective speeches, that Indonesia has a lot to offer both to the “UAE, the Middle East and beyond.” This is possible through Indonesia’s human and natural resources by way of agriculture, tourism, culture and trade.
The other focus of the Indonesian Pavilion as per the directives of President Widodo are industry, education, e-commerce, plantation technology, and environment.
The pavilion sprawling over 1,860 square metres (sqm) is a three-storey 2,500 sqm edifice of sustainable materials from the world’s largest archipelago and the UAE.
As Jakarta’s platform of “Home of Diversity and a Feeling of Tomorrow,” it amplifies the concept of “Transforming Future Civilization Through Innovations and Diversity” consisting of “interrelated and sustainable stories reflecting entertainment, interaction and the future.”
“Building the World Anew, Connecting Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow” on the first floor digs into the country’s history and “presentations of our developments and potentials in the present time, along with various future concepts.”
“Celebrating You, Me Together We Transform the Future” on the second floor centres on “Indonesian innovations.” It is a preview of the country’s centennial year via the “Concept of Indonesia Gold 2045.”
The “Majestic Land of Diversity” floor is the typical night market spread out throughout the over 17,000 islands and islets where visitors will get the taste of Indonesian “warm hospitality.”
According to Indonesia’s Ministry of Trade 2018 data, bilateral trade relations between the UAE and Indonesia for the entire year was at $3.3 billion with Indonesian exports topped by palm oil, soap, textile, auto parts and paper products at $1.4 billion and UAE exports principally of oil/gas/chemical products, and dates at $1.8 billion