Indonesia Marks Anniversary with Health and Investment Cooperation

Indonesian Ambassador Santo Darmosumarto briefed the activities to media on May 20 at the Indonesian Embassy in Phnom Penh. Photo: Lay Sopheavotey

PHNOM PENH – Indonesia will host several events throughout the year to celebrate the 65th anniversary of its relationship with Cambodia. Free healthcare, school facilities, a major exhibition and a trade expo will further promote the friendship. 

On June 8 and 9, the first health fest will be held at  Preah Sihanouk province to promote the health and well-being of Cambodians and Indonesians living in Cambodia.

Visitors will get a free whole-body check-up by Indonesian and local medical staff. The fest also aims to promote Indonesian health, pharmaceutical, herbal products and medical devices to the Cambodian market.

“All activities in Indonesian Health Fest are free,” the ambassador said. “The Embassy invites all Cambodian citizens, especially those in Sihanoukville, to attend the event.”

Asked why Indonesia opts for stronger health cooperation, he said it was a potential area to explore in which Indonesia aims to assist with medical supply or training. 

Sihanoukville was chosen for the event by Governor Kuoch Chamroeun due to the large number of Indonesian citizens living and working in the area. There are between 20,000-35,000 Indonesians living in the coastal province, the ambassador said.

He expects to welcome more than 200 people at the fest and about 200 in a health seminar.

Friendship School, Exhibition and Trade Expo

At the end of June, the Embassy will visit the Indonesian-Cambodia Friendship School in Prey Veng, which was established in 1997, to observe the facility's improvement. 

Those include the front gate, tables and chairs for the kindergarten, laboratory equipment, open space for reading, toilet, water tower and children's playground, which are expected to be finished by the end of June.

“Once in a while, we provide school suppliers and facilities, like toilets, to the school,” the ambassador said.

In September, there will be a free major exhibition called “Sousdey Indonesia” (Hello Indonesia), in which 100 booths will be displayed for Indonesian companies and Cambodian distributors importing Indonesian products.

In October, at the Trade Expo Indonesia in Indonesia, the Embassy with Indonesian missions in the Mekong region will organize a small-scale infrastructure and business forum on the sidelines to promote investment in Indonesia and the region, including China, Myanmar, Thailand, Lao, Cambodia and Vietnam.

Ambassador Santo Darmosumarto said he wanted more investment between the countries and to expand investor connections. 

He had high hopes that trade between the countries would expand while expecting better results in the years to come.

In 2023, Cambodia-Indonesia trade increased 14.6 percent, totalling $1.09 billion, according to the General Department of Customs and Excise of Cambodia.

While imports from Indonesia totalled $994.6 million, indicating a 9.1 percent increase, exports to Indonesia reached $92.74 million, a 151.7 percent rise on 2022.

“Next year, we want to build up from what we have established this year,” Ambassador Santo Darmosumarto said. “We haven’t done a movie festival, dancing and culture exhibition. We want to do more outside of Phnom Penh. We want more people-to-people ties.”

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