Türkiye and Indonesia have vast potential for cooperation in a wide range of sectors, from the defense industry to the economy, the Turkish ambassador to Jakarta said.
“A new era is beginning,” Talip Kucukcan told Anadolu in an interview on relations between the two countries, underlining that the areas they could boost cooperation include “the economy, education, defense industry, processing of raw materials, and their transfer to global markets, and possibly the establishment of a common security umbrella.”
Pointing out that, with its population of 280 million, Indonesia stands as the fourth-largest country in the world and is home to the most Muslims, Kucukcan said it is a country crucial for Türkiye at a time when the geopolitical weight in the world is shifting to the Asia-Pacific region.
“In this respect, it is important to review the relations between Indonesia and Türkiye and to advance them through structural reforms,” Kucukcan added.
Highlighting the defense industry as the most important area of cooperation between the two countries, he noted that Jakarta was interested in technologies developed by Türkiye.
With agreements made in recent years in this field, Turkish defense industry products have started to enter the inventory of the Indonesian army, he added.
Kucukcan also emphasized Türkiye’s expertise in infrastructure services, with companies listed among in the top 50 in the world in the construction sector.
“Indonesia is a country that had a foreign trade surplus of $50 billion in 2022, but its infrastructure needs are quite high,” he added.
“This is an important area of cooperation,” said the diplomat, noting that Turkish companies are preferred in this area.
One great investment opportunity in the Southeast Asian country is the construction of its planned new capital city in its province of East Kalimantan.
“This is a project that will cost approximately $30-40 billion. The Indonesian government is doing 20-25% of it by itself. It’s opening the rest to international investors.
“A new capital city means (new) infrastructure services, buildings, irrigation, environment, energy. We see that Turkish companies are very attractive in all these,” he said.
Commerce and diplomacy
In bilateral trade, the two nations have set a target of $10 billion, Kucukcan noted, adding that the current level was at $3 billion, with Turkish exports covering about one-sixth of this figure.
He also pointed to notable developments in diplomatic relations, with Indonesian authorities recently inviting Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to the country for an official visit.
Last month also saw Turkish Foreign Minister Hakan Fidan hold talks at a meeting of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Indonesia’s capital Jakarta.
Türkiye and Indonesia, cooperating in international organizations such as the UN, the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), G-20, D-8, and the five-nation MIKTA bloc, have also recently shown they are willing to work more closely in the fight against Islamophobia.