The Embassy of Indonesia to Belgium and the EU held a “Vin D’honneur” at the Wiltcher’s Steigenberger Hotel last Thursday 14 April, shortly after the new Ambassador Yuri Octavian Thamrin had met with King Philippe of Belgium earlier in the morning to formally present his credentials. The new Ambassador spoke to the audience to introduce himself and announce his ambitions over the next few years with respect to cooperation and bilateral relations between Indonesia and Belgium as well as the European Union.
He also emphasized that Indonesia stands in solidarity with Belgium following the terrorist attacks on 22 March, and that the country is ready to promote stronger counterterrorism cooperation with Belgium.
During his speech, Ambassador Thamrin additionally spoke about his hopes to share experiences and best practices with fellow colleagues from other diplomatic missions, and to seek collaboration opportunities with MEPs, EU officials and actors in the private sector, media and academic institutions.
Finally, the Ambassador also reminded the audience about Europalia 2017, where Indonesia will be the main country of focus this time. Next week, the President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo, will visit Brussels for Indonesia-EU bilateral meetings and to also kick start Europalia 2017.
Indonesia has a population of 250 million and is one of the most diverse countries in the world with 300 distinct native ethnic groups, and 742 different languages and dialects.
Belgium is Indonesia’s 8th largest economic partner. Two-way trade volume reached 1.5 billion euro in 2015. The country has a wide range of natural resources, including crude oil, natural gas, tin, copper and gold. Its key exports include oil and gas, electrical appliances, plywood, rubber and textiles. It is also the third largest cocoa producer in the world.
The new Ambassador Yuri Octavian Thamrin was inaugurated as Ambassador of The Republic of Indonesia to the Kingdom of Belgium, the Grand-Duchy of Luxembourg and the European Union, on 13 January 2016. He arrived in Brussels on 26 February 2016 and formally presented his credentials to the King of Belgium last Thursday.
Before joining the Embassy in Brussels, Yuri Octavian Thamrin was the Director General for Asia, Pacific and African Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Indonesia after have previously served for more than three years as Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the United Kingdom.
The Brussels Times