The relationship between Brunei and Indonesia is getting stronger and more robust, despite facing the challenging situation in recent years, said Indonesian Ambassador to Brunei Darussalam Dr Sujatmiko in his opening speech at the Diplomatic Reception to commemorate the 77th anniversary of the Indonesian Independence Day at the Songket Ballroom, The Rizqun International Hotel last night.
The ambassador added that the continuity of meetings, mutual visits and new commitments are taking place in various fields, while the trade volume between the two countries has increased from USD204.3 million in 2020 to USD374.2 million in 2021.
“The two-way trade has increased, just when others are still attempting to beat the COVID-19 pandemic,” said Dr Sujatmiko, further noting that the list of goods exchanged across borders has also grown in variety, giving businesses better handling of market volatility and provides a more stable path for overall growth in the bilateral trade.
He hoped that relations between the two countries will continue to strengthen.
“On behalf of the Indonesian community living and working in the Sultanate, I extend my appreciation to His Majesty Sultan Haji Hassanal Bolkiah Mu’izzaddin Waddaulah ibni Al-Marhum Sultan Haji Omar ‘Ali Saifuddien Sa’adul Khairi Waddien, Sultan and Yang Di-Pertuan of Brunei Darussalam for allowing them to continue working in the country,” said Dr Sujatmiko. He also noted that on various occasions, His Majesty has told Indonesian President Joko Widodo about the contribution of Indonesian workers to Brunei’s economic development.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Dato Seri Setia Awang Haji Nazmi bin Haji Mohamad and spouse were the guests of honour.
Brunei senior officials, entrepreneurs, academics, community leaders and heads of foreign representatives as well as representatives of the Indonesian communities in the Sultanate were also in attendance.
Over 300 guests attended the event and were treated to Indonesian dance performances.
The ambassador said the crew members behind the performance were Indonesian children living in the Sultanate and have been trained at the Seni Nusantara Art Studio run by the Womens’ Association of the Indonesian Embassy.
The performances included the pendet dance and gunung sari dance from Central Java, pakarena dance from South Sulawesi, plate dance from West Sumatera, peacock dance from West Java, and traditional music angklung from West Java and the saman dance from Aceh.
The event was further enlivened by the ambassador’s and defence attaché’s participation in the angklung bamboo musical orchestra by beating traditional drums.
The ambassador also sang Indonesia Pusaka. Guests were also presented with Indonesian culinary, video of tourism destinations and a mini exhibition of Indonesian handicrafts.
The diplomatic reception was the culmination of a series of activities held to commemorate the 77th anniversary of Indonesian independence organised by the Indonesian Embassy in Brunei Darussalam.
Other activities were a sports tournament for the Indonesian community, blood donation drive and health check, fun bike event, bazaar and cultural performance called Pasar Rakyat held in July and August.