India-Indonesia Defence Ministers’ Dialogue
- 28 Jul 2020
- 4 min read
Why in News
Recently, the Defence Ministers’ Dialogue between India and the Republic of Indonesia has been held in Delhi.
- The Indonesian Defence Minister General Prabowo Subianto is in India for strengthening the ties between the two maritime neighbours.
- At the dialogue, India and Indonesia aimed at injecting a new momentum to their strategic partnership by expanding security cooperation in a range of areas including defence industries and technology sharing.
- India conveyed satisfaction on the military to military interactions and indicated that the defence cooperation between both nations has witnessed an upswing in recent years, in consonance with the Comprehensive Strategic Partnership between the two sides.
- The issue of possible export of BrahMos cruise missile to Indonesia by India and ways to further deepen maritime security cooperation figured prominently in the talks.
- Even though both countries acknowledge China's aggressive posturing in eastern Ladakh and the South China Sea, there was no official statement on it.
- Both of them have agreed to work together for peace, security, and prosperity in order to achieve their shared vision on maritime cooperation in the Indo-Pacific region.
- The Strait of Malacca - waterway connecting the Andaman Sea (Indian Ocean) and the South China Sea (Pacific Ocean) - runs between the Indonesian island of Sumatra to the West and peninsular (west) Malaysia and extreme southern Thailand to the east.
- Both of them recognise the threat of extremism and terrorism and have agreed to work closely bilaterally and globally to tackle them.
- India is working with Indonesia to strengthen the ties in the areas of defence, security, connectivity, trade and investment and people-to-people exchanges.
- Trade and Commerce:
- Bilateral trade has increased from USD 4.3 billion in 2005-06 to USD 21 billion in 2018-19.
- Indonesia has emerged as the second largest trading partner of India in the ASEAN region.
- India is the second largest buyer of coal and crude palm oil from Indonesia and imports minerals, rubber, pulp and paper and hydrocarbons reserves.
- However, there is a need for greater market access for Indian commodities in Indonesia including, pharmaceutical, automotive and agricultural products.
- Both countries are members of G20, the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM), East Asia Summit and the United Nations.
- Comprehensive Strategic Partnership:
- The two countries inked a defence cooperation agreement in 2018 which aimed at reflecting the elevation of the relationship between the two countries to a comprehensive strategic partnership.
- 2019 marked the 70th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between India and Indonesia.
- In September 2019, Indonesia announced that the country's capital would be relocated to East Kalimantan province on Borneo island from Jakarta.
- Bilateral Exercises:
- India has always acknowledged the long history of mutually beneficial interactions between the two countries with a tradition of close political dialogue, economic and trade linkages as well as cultural and people to people interactions.
- However, to overcome the national and regional challenges, there is a need for a commitment to further strengthen and widen the scope of the bilateral cooperation between the two countries.