Indonesian Ambassador to focus on economic partnerships, people-to-people connections

Speaking with Helen Brown for the Australia-Indonesia Centre, Indonesia’s recently appointed Ambassador to Australia H.E. Kristiarto Legowo revealed the focus of his mission.

“My president, he’s very specific,” the Ambassador says of the directions he received from Indonesian President Joko Widodo. “He told me ‘Kris, I’m sending you there when bilateral relations between our two countries are in very good shape, so you have to be able to capitalise on something’.”

The Ambassador’s two primary focuses are: expanding the economic relations between Australia and Indonesia, and enhancing people-to-people connections.

As both nations work towards cementing the Indonesia-Australia Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement, the Ambassador says, “We hope when we have these documents in place, we will really elevate the already good and robust economic partnership that happily exists between Indonesia and Australia.”

“When we have good relations at a government-to-government level we have to capitalise on something that would be mutually beneficial to people in our two countries.”

The Ambassador sees this economic relationship expanded through Australian investment in Indonesia (noting Indonesia’s recent upgrade in Moody’s Ease of Doing Business rating) and through capacity building.

With regards to extending people-to-people relationship building between the two nations, the Ambassador says, “It is in the interest of our two countries to have Australians who are more literate about Indonesia and to have Indonesians who are more literate about Australia. We have to acknowledge that there is still some misperception.”

Digital Economy Fellow, The Australia-Indonesia Centre