On 22nd June 2023, the government of Tanzania officially opened its embassy in Jakarta, Indonesia.
At the launch ceremony, Tanzania’s Minister of Foreign Affairs and East African Cooperation, Dr Stergomena Tax, expressed that the establishment of the embassy would serve as a platform for deepening cooperation, particularly in the economic sector, between the two nations.
“Close collaboration between Tanzania and Indonesia has been the norm, and we believe that the official opening of our embassy here will foster more cooperation between our two nations, especially in the economic sector,” said Dr Tax.
Moreover, Minister Tax highlighted the potential opportunities that a strong alliance with Indonesia, a country with significant economic strides, could provide Tanzania.
She focused on Tanzania’s ability to add value to its agricultural and mineral products, thus enhancing its competitiveness in international markets and promoting economic growth.
On the Indonesian side, Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi underlined the strong and enduring bond between the two countries, dating back to the founding of both nations at the Bandung Conference in 1955.
Marsudi emphasized the significance of the embassy’s inauguration in terms of strengthening diplomatic relations. She promised further collaboration to nurture and enhance this relationship, specifying several areas of mutual interest.
“We will increase our efforts to follow up on potential collaborations that have been identified in various sectors. Specifically, we aim to enhance cooperation in trade and investment, health, and development. We are also committed to working together to address global challenges such as climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic,” stated Marsudi.
She also noted the positive trend in the trade relations between Indonesia and Tanzania, increasing by 50% from 2019 to 2022, reaching over USD 340 million.
“Building on this momentum, Indonesia intends to export some other goods such as rubber tires, fertilizers, foods and beverages. We also agreed to explore the possibility of establishing a bilateral Preferential Trade Agreement,” she added.
Tanzania and Indonesia first established diplomatic relations in 1964, the same year that the Indonesian embassy was officially opened in Tanzania. Prior to the opening of the Tanzanian embassy in Indonesia, Tanzanian interests were represented through its embassy in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
According to the United Nations COMTRADE database, in 2022 Tanzania exported USD 28.22 million worth of goods to Indonesia. The main exports were cloves (USD39.7 million), cocoa beans (USD7.89 million), and raw tobacco (USD7.89 million).
In the same year, Indonesia exported USD 74.73 million worth of goods to Tanzania. The main imports were palm oil (USD 240 million), stearic acid (USD 9.16 million), and other synthetic fabrics (USD 8.03 million).