The Head of State, His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano Va’aletoa Sualauvi II, received visitors from Indonesia, yesterday.
They included the Ambassador of Indonesia to Samoa, Tantowi Yahya, the Senior Advisor of Strategy Issues to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Djauhari Oratmantun, and other senior Indonesian delegates.
The purpose of the visit was two-fold. Firstly, it was to congratulate His Highness Tuimaleali’ifano on his recent appointment.
Secondly, it was to announce their assistance for Samoa and talk about trade opportunities.
“We had a very fruitful meeting with Prime Minister Tuila'epa Sailele Malielegaoi during his book launch in Wellington, last week,” said Mr. Yahya.
“We shared with him a lot of what has been established and what will be established in the future.”
Part of this includes the donation of an ambulance for the Tupua Tamasese Meaole Hospital.
“Hopefully, it can be delivered in a month from now,” said Mr. Yahya.
“We also invited the Prime Minister to attend our 72nd independence anniversary in Jakarta, however due to the very short notice, he cannot make it.”
Ambassador Yahya said they want to increase Indonesia’s cooperation with Samoa, including trade and other areas.
“We have been thinking for so long about the possibility of direct trade between Indonesia and Samoa. As you understand, we have some products in the market, especially food, drinks and other commodities in supermarkets and wholesalers, that are not from Indonesia but are directly from Australia and New Zealand,” he said.
“I was in Jakarta a week ago and I managed to have meetings with several traders and exporters and they have agreed in doing direct exportation from Indonesia to Samoa. We even have a plan for making Samoa the heart of distribution for the South Pacific Islands.”