Indonesian Ambassador in Cairo Lutfi Rauf said that Indonesia-Egypt relations were getting stronger day by day.
“This can be proven by the visible progress of relations and co-operation between the two countries in various fields, such as trade, economy, education and culture,” he said.
He added that currently there are 13,000 Indonesian students in Egypt, the majority of whom study at Al-Azhar University.
“Al Azhar is one of the oldest Islamic universities which continues to promote and improve teaching and religious values,” he said.
He made these remarks at a reception he held at his residence on Monday evening to commemorate the 78th Independence of his country.
Ambassador Rauf added that Indonesia-Egypt co-operation in economy and trade has continued to grow over the last 10 years.
“During the difficult times of the Covid-19 pandemic, Egypt and Indonesia proved successful in increasing the value of bilateral trade by 56 per cent,” he said.
He added that the two countries were not competing, but complementing each other’s trade commodities.
For this reason, he said, Egypt and Indonesia must believe that through strong commitment, determination and hard work, the two countries will also be able to survive the current global economic challenges.
He expressed his gratitude that Indonesia and Egypt signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the Establishment of a Joint Trade Committee in Cairo in May 2023.
“The committee is very important for identifying and optimising the enormous untapped potential of economic cooperation between the two countries,” he said.
The occasion also marked Indonesian chairmanship of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in 2023.
This year’s Indonesian chairmanship carries the theme ‘ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth’. ASEAN is an economic power with more than 670 million people and has been integrated since 2015 as the fourth largest economic community in the world, after the United States, China and India, with a combined GDP of around $3.7 trillion in 2030.
He said that this chairmanship strengthens collaboration among ASEAN members and dialogue partners.
“Partnership and collaboration between countries is the key to success in facing the global challenges we are currently facing as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic and the food and energy crisis,” he added.
During the event, a group of Indonesian students studying at Al-Azhar University performed regional and Egyptian songs.
The event was attended by high-ranking Egyptian officials, diplomats and defence attaches from foreign countries in Egypt, businessmen.