Guatemala recognizes Jakarta as ASEAN’s capital

Guatemala recognizes Jakarta as ASEAN’s capital
Indonesian Minister of Foreign Affairs Retno L.P. Marsudi (right) and her counterpart from Guatemala, Sandra Erica Jovel Polanco (left) at the reopening of the Guatemala Embassy in Jakarta on Tuesday (Dec 12, 2019). (The Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs)

Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Guetamala has reopened the embassy in Jakarta covering the Southeast Asian Region, showing that the Central American country recognizes Jakarta as the capital of ASEAN.

“I sincerely welcome and congratulate the reopening of the Guatemala Embassy in Jakarta,” Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi here on Tuesday.

Even without embassies in each of the nation’s capitals, political relations between Indonesia and Guatemala has been going very well, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry’s reported as quoted by Indonesia Window here on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, Guatemala Foreign Affairs Minister Sandra Erica Jovel said the opening of the embassy became a symbol of the closeness of the two countries although both of them are located in distant.

At a meeting, the two foreign ministers discussed efforts to enhance relations and bilateral cooperation, among others in the economy sector, including investment and trade.

Indonesia also encouraged efforts to complete the Visa Free Agreement for Diplomatic and Service Passport Holders.

Guatemala is the second largest trading partner country for Indonesia in the Central American region.

The bilateral trade in 2018 reached US$50.29 million and is expected to increasethrough various mechanisms, including the Latin America and the Caribbean (INA-LAC) Business Forum and trade exhibitions.

Guatemala is also a leading exporter of palm oil products in Latin America.

Therefore, Foreign Minister Retno invited Guatemala to work together in the palm oil sector, primarily in combating discrimination against the commodity.

“I also invited Guatemala to join the Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC),” she said.

After the meeting, the two foreign ministers signed a Memorandum of Understanding regarding the Establishment of Bilateral Consultations which aims as a means to significantly enhance cooperation.

While in Jakarta, Foreign Minister Jovel also paid an honorary visit to the ASEAN Secretary General and Executive Director of the State Council for Palm Oil Producing (CPOPC).

Minister Jovel’s visit to Jakarta on December 10-11, 2019 was the first foreign ministerial visit since the opening of bilateral relations between Indonesia and Guatemala in 1992.

A year after the first opening, the Guatemalan Embassy in Jakarta was closed in 1993.

The Guatemalan Embassy in Jakarta is the sixth owned by the country in Asia, and the 106th foreign country embassy in Jakarta.

Reporting by Indonesia Window

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