| IOP Desk - 27 Jan 2021

First ever India-Indonesia High Power Dialogue: Strengthening Relations - Fostering Economy’

It was a part of Golden Signatures’s International business connect and networking series

IOP Desk


India and Indonesia have had great cultural, spiritual, historical and mythological connections since the Ramayana period. However Despite the fact that the two great civilizations share over 2,000 years old relationships, the people to people contacts between the two countries are much below the desired and required level. India-Indonesia relations can grow in a healthy manner in the future. Indonesia is the world's third most populous democracy, the world's largest archipelagic state, the seventh largest economy in the world, and largest economy in Southeast Asia, and is also a pluralistic and secular society like us. No doubt Indonesia is India’s biggest trade partner among ASEAN countries; our trade relations have surged in the past few years but are still very low. There are just 51 Indian companies operating in Indonesia, while on the other side, only 5 Indonesian companies are active in India. India is Indonesia’s largest buyer of Crude Palm Oil (CPO) and importer of its mining, petroleum and paper products, and exports refined petroleum products, wheat, rice, sugar, iron and steel products to Indonesia. However, there remains a vast untapped potential for further growth. With over $1 trillion GDP, per capita income 4200$ and a population of 260 million “Consuming class’ (twice the size of the population of Australia) with 44% of young and dynamic population aged under 25, Indonesia has huge potential for Indian companies. Both the countries need to enhance people to people contacts, enhance bilateral trade, cultural and security relations as well.

This was felt in the first ever India-Indonesia High Power Dialogue: Strengthening Relations - Fostering Economy’ organised by Golden Signatures Research & Consulting, as a part of its International business connect and networking series on December 18, 2020. 

The event was organized with the aim to further-establish moral and material prosperity through mutual understanding, friendship and cooperation for the larger benefits of the people of India and Indonesia. Both countries have shared two millennia of close cultural and commercial contacts. The COVID-19 pandemic has hit hard the Southeast Asia region as much of the rest of the world. In response to mitigate the economic impact of the pandemic, India and Indonesia both have to take all appropriate measures to facilitate, strengthen and diversify bilateral trade to follow the new world order. 

The High Power Dialogue that was held over a digital connect was divided into three sessions.

OPENING GENERAL SESSION was chaired by SHRI SHYAM PARANDE - Secy Gen, Antar Rashtriya Sahyog Parishad (ARSP); Patron, PEOPLE OF INDIAN ORIGIN CHAMBER OF COMMERCE AND INDUSTRY (PIOCCI), DELHI. The session was moderated by MAJ. GEN DILAWAR SINGH - Former DG, NCC & NYK, Founder Director, Global Chamber of Sports, Education & Culture, New Delhi.  AMB ANUP K MUDGAL- Former, HC of India to Mauritius; Member, FICCI Expert Committee was keynote speaker of this session who spoke on the Topic – ‘Ocean of opportunities of cooperation in the Blue Economy sector’.

SESSION ON BUSINESS & TRADE was chaired by Shri NIRMAL JAIN SETHI - President, All India Jain Maha Sabha, Delhi. Shri NIRMAL JAIN talked in detail about Jain Heritage in Indonesia. The moderator was Dr. POORAN PANDEY, Resident Representative, Climate Scorecard, USA & Board Member, and the World Food Programme Trust for India. Mr. RAVINDRA NATH -Ex CMD, National Small Industries Corporation (NSIC), Delhi was the keynote speaker of this session. He spoke on ‘Small Businesses – Opportunities of Cooperation’,

SESSION ON EDUCATION & HEALTH was chaired by PROF. HIKMAHANTO JUWANA - Rector/Chancellor of Universities Jenderal Achmad Yani (Unjani), Jakarta, Indonesia. PROF. DR. PRAHLAD RAI SODANI, President, IIHMR University, Jaipur (India) was the keynote speaker of this session. He spoke on the ‘Possibilities in cooperation in the Education and Health secto’. This session  was moderated by Dr. SHIV TRIPATHI - Professor and Dean, IIHMR University, Jaipur.

Dr. NEETA VERMA, DG, NIC, Govt of India, New Delhi  was the Chief Guest of the event  who spoke about India’s advancement in the Information Technology sector and also talked about the ‘Possibilities of cooperation between the two countries through Technology’.

Dr. ANEEL KASHI MURARKA – MD, Mirachem Industries, Pune talked about ‘Philanthropy and power of People to People contact’.

Mr. ADHI LUKMAN - Executive Director of Foodv & Beverages Industry Association, Indonesia spoke on 'Business Potential, Threats and Challenges in Indonesia’.

Mr. ISHWAR RAMLUTCHMAN MAHABEKA ZULU – Iconic Indian of Mahabeka Zulu (Nation), South Africa presented his views on ‘Humanitarian Services and Philanthropy’.

Dr. ALOK DROLIA, the Youngest Diplomat of India & the world in Male, who is also a Philanthropist & Global Trade Expert talked about enormous ‘Trade Opportunities in India and Indonesia’.

Mr. A.B. SINGH, Edu Thought Leader and Founder, Zindagi Foundation, Bhubaneshwar, Odisha talked about possibilities of cooperation through Education citing his own experiences in the Education field.

SHRI SHYAM PARANDE, Secretary-General, Antar Rashtriya Sahyog Parishad (ARSP) and also Secretary-General of SEWA International shared his thoughts and vision for Indonesia, as one of the closest countries to India. Mr Parandey felt that though, since the last few centuries, both the countries seem to be distant but it was neither before and nor will never be in future. His statement reflected the immense willingness to strengthen and sustain these close ties with the same passion. Further, recalling statement of Indonesian President Sukarno (1945) that the culture of India flows in the veins of his ancestors, Mr. Parande congratulated organizing team lead by Mr. Onkareshwar Pandey (Editor-in-Chief, Indian Observer Post) for organizing such a thought-provoking event that calls for further regional and global co-operation in a turbulent time of COVID Pandemic and demand for action across the globe and underlined that people in Indonesia have learnt to cultural and religious roots in a balanced manner.

MR PARANDE elaborated how principally; India has also inspired the independence movement of Indonesia, where Gandhian philosophy of Non-Violence became a guiding principle for the independence strugglers. Mr Sukarno once stated Gandhi as– The inspiring spirit of India and freedom. Mr. Shyam PArande concluded that this bilateral relationship between both countries is unique in many senses, as it is a great example of commonalities of sharing cultural legacy and on the other hand political diplomacy.

MR PARANDE said Indonesia is one of the closest country with India. He said Indonesian independence movement is inspired by India. Talking about the cultural similarity he said Indo in Indonesia is taken from India.

Dr. POORAN PANDEY, Resident Representative, Climate Scorecard, USA & Board Member, the World Food Programme Trust for India invited AMB ANUP K MUDGAL, Former, High Commissioner of India to Mauritius, who is currently a Member of FICCI Expert Committee on Blue Economy. Mr. Mudgal introduced his work entitled "Together we struggle – India and Indonesia”. He further added that If we look at history, Bali Yatra helped us to come together later on, there is the connection of Faith - these are the testimony of common heritage. He emphasized on the commonalities between India and Indonesia, as both have all the right drivers which facilitate a natural convergence of priorities and policy for bilateral, regional and global governance. Geographically, we are close maritime neighbours separated by only about 80 nautical miles, sharing the waters of the Indian ocean and shipping channels of Indo-Pacific. He evoked the close connections of decolonization struggle, ongoing South-South cooperation and appealed for the post-COVID complementary re-union for the best outcome. Mr Mudgal recapped the role of two strategic partners on the geopolitical front during the post-second world war, how India and Indonesia lead the global efforts at cold war mitigation through Non-Aligned Movement (NAM) for ensuring policy autonomy for smaller powers. He did not forget to mention the close cultural ties shared by both countries from the ancient to the contemporary world. Mr Mudgal added that we are two large democratic nations with very similar global priorities for a rule-based world order for peace, stability and prosperity.

Amb Mudgal stressed on the challenges of contemporary world order, which is urgently needed to address through the regional partnership of various kinds, where the role of our natural ally become important to deal with it. The burgeoning tension in the Indo-Pacific Ocean region, calls for arbitration by close and natural allies like India-Indonesia. Their strategic role in deterring the global forces of polarization in the current world scenario cannot be undermined. India has stayed out of RCEP but we hope, India's core concerns are adequately addressed for its early return to the group. Indian presence in the RCEP will certainly add value for Indonesia and all stakeholders as well, what Mr Mudgal sees. He opines that the two countries should take responsibilities to come together and emphasis should be given on peace and security and prosperity. In this direction, India has taken many important initiatives to further strengthen the natural relations of symbiosis. India and Indonesia should play a complementary role to enhance trade, investment and technology co-operation to make our economic relationship peaceful & foreseeable. This is what seeks our convergence for ensuring free, fair and rule-based world order based on fundamental freedoms of trading, investment and communication routes. An ocean of opportunity also lies in the emerging Blue Economy sectors. Our geography, history, size and global priorities make it obligatory for our two countries and societies to work together for regional and global peace and security.

Dr. NEETA VERMA, DG, NIC, New Delhi highlighted that the government of India under the guidance and leadership of PM Modi has propelled the Digital transformation. India has witnessed the Broadband revolution as each one of us are using 8 to 10 mobile apps every day. Arogya Setu with 160 million downloads during COVID, has helped us to know much in advance about the symptoms of COVID. The Mobile Revolution is the only way for people at lower pyramid to connect with the Government.  While dwelling in past she recalled the past achievement of NIC that it had electronic message technology before Gmail or Hotmail services. We at NIC, are technology partners with GOVT (district to central) ICT infrastructure which is known as Data Centre, Cloud Services or Video Conferencing platforms. All the ministers have used this as a lifeline during the pandemic. NIC also caters to the different infrastructure of our country by establishing e-hospital and e-courts.This digital transformation can be used to maintain the relationship through the centre of excellence – Data-driven Governance as well. Emphasis was given on Machine learning and Artificial Intelligence to embrace the world’s latest art-of-the-technology. It has enabled us to work with language diversity also- one can talk in his/her natural language to business problems.

In Short, our focus through the inclusion of Digital transformation is social development and raises the standards of humanity.

As we look into the prospect of the technology cooperation between in India and Indonesia, there is huge potential to accrue the benefit from the digital revolution because India can cater the market of Indonesia, which is on the high side of demand.In a recent development, the Indonesian government has committed to accelerating the country’s public and private sectors through focus investments in digital technologies to enhance infrastructure, increase penetration, and boost productivity. Implementing a holistic digital strategy will enable Indonesian companies to win in the digital age and lift Indonesia’s economic growth to the next level. This resulting economic impact has been estimated — USD 150 billion annually by 2025— which is too large a prize to ignore to invest in Indonesia. Finally, the Director-General NIC arrived at the conclusion that by looking into a great opportunity and prospect in the area of Technology co-operations, we will be happy to share our products with Indonesia through Govt. to Govt channel.

Delivering the Keynote Address on Education and Health, eminent global public health expert Prof. Dr Prahlad R Sodani, President, IIHMR University, Jaipur said, “India and Indonesia have close cultural and commercial contacts for over two millennia. India must closely collaborate with Indonesia on skill development and Education, as this will help in exploring the complementary potential of both countries through knowledge sharing co-operation. Both these countries have areas of common interest in health as well as the education sector. Both the countries may focus on research and development in areas including active pharmaceutical ingredients, IT-based medical health and wellness solutions and also human resource development for the health sector.”

As key focus of the discussion was on the Health and the Education sector, the speakers highlighted great possibilities of collaboration and co-operation among India and Indonesia. Stressing the need for collaborative initiatives, Dr Sodani pointed out that both the countries- India and Indonesia, have great strengths which can be leveraged to work for the society at a better level. Education and Research would help academic communities in both the countries including students, faculty members and health scientists who can work together with aim of contributing at a larger level in achieving the Sustainable Development Goals. He stressed that India, as a country, has tremendous potential in the technology and digital space which can be of great value to strengthen Indonesian economy. He further elaborated by saying that, the alignment is required amongst the healthcare workers and the community for which these healthcare workers are working. This alignment is also required amongst the technical persons who have great expertise in digital technology, as they have to understand the community requirements, particularly the healthcare service environment. There are a lot of opportunities between India and Indonesia and this pandemic has brought us together to work and live together.

Mr. NIRMAL KUMAR JAIN SETHI, President All India Jain Mahasabha spoke about the importance of Jain heritage and how he tried to build India Indonesia culture through Jain sculptures. He said Lord Mahavir and Lord Parshanath are popular in Indonesia. He said I have been to Indonesia three times in the last 10 years and there are many things that the historians and archeologists should explore .There are thousands of images of tirthankaras lined up inside the temples. It shows connection with Jain culture and heritage.

Mr Adhi Lukamn, Chairman, Indonesian Food and Beverages Industry Association, opened his presentation with the optimistic statement that Indian and Indonesian companies need to build the partnership, especially in sectors like food and beverages, crude oil, etc. He elaborated, “Such a partnership can be in the form of joint partnership in each other’s countries.” He added that India is Indonesia’s largest buyer of Crude Palm Oil (CPO) and importer of its mining, petroleum and paper products. Although the trade basket is complementary. India exports refined petroleum products, wheat, rice, sugar, iron and steel products to Indonesia. 

Noticeably bilateral trade has surged in the past few years. However, there remains a vast untapped potential for further growth. Mr Lukman highlighted some achievements of his country that among ASEA countries our GDP is more than $1 trillion with a population of 260 million “Consuming class’ twice the size of the population of Australia. Young and dynamic people 44% of Indonesians are aged under 25. Indonesia is a global leader in social media also. It has More Facebook and Twitter users than the population of Australia. The world’s third-largest market for Facebook. The most active city for Twitter in the world: Jakarta. Indonesia's per capita income is 4200$. Citing McKinsey & Company report, he mentioned that Indonesia in 2030 will be the7th-largest economy in the world with 135 million members of the consuming class, 71%of the population in cities producing 86%of GDP, 113 million Skilled workers needed $1.8 trillion market opportunity in consumer services, agriculture and fisheries, resource, and education. Emerging markets will dominate the world’s top ten economies in 2050 (GDP at PPPs) Indonesia is the 4th Most Prospective Investment Destination and its sovereign credit rating continues trending higher. Investment Realization in Indonesia Reaches 721.3 Trillion in 2018 and rises by 4.1% from 2013-2018.

INDIA stands on 23rd position in FDI realization in Indonesia in Oil, gas and financial sector as per this report. He pointed out that in Indonesia, India’s FDI in the only food industry is approximately 42 million $. He concluded the talk by citing Indonesia’s abundant natural resources and burgeoning domestic market as an attractive destination for foreign investment, which India should not overlook. MrLookman also urged to eliminate all the barriers of the supply chain from both sides of government to harness the actual benefits of the bilateral relationship between both countries.

Dr. ANEEL KASHI MURARKA – MD, Mirachem Industries, Pune emphasised on cultural connections between these two countries since ancient times. He also talked about the tradition of Ram-Leela performance in Indonesia, which entails the other facets of Indonesia culture and respect for the Hindu religion and its God. He also called for more philanthropy andCSR activities to the corporate world to help mankind in such a global tragedy time of COVID-19. Dr Morarka expressed his concern for the marginal community and acid-survivor, they need more attention to be in the mainstream of our society. He brought the humanitarian angle during the dialogue and adhered to the need for intensive debate, no matter if the context varies from place to place. The ultimate goal of development should be human-welfare.

Dr Murarka, who is also a noted philanthropist said India has the resources to eradicate poverty and regain its lost glory when it was having the sobriquet of “Sone Ki Chidiya” (golden bird). “What is needed is prioritization of the needs so that we can take care of the people who cannot manage to get two square meals a day”, he said  adding that if each and every person  does his  bit to lend a helping hand to the needy, then this country will be a fantastic place to live in.

Dr Murarka narrated how his organization Ample Mission has been working for the inclusivity of the marginalised people like the transgenders and also the acid attack victims. Ample Mission is a social awareness organization founded by Dr AneelMurarka with the objective of creating a change in the society through direct action and awareness campaigns.

Dr Murarka said he had the privilege of being to Indonesia at Bali and he was impressed by the cultural bond that existed between the two countries. He particularly mentioned an extraordinary performance of Ramlila by a troupe.

Thanks to his entrepreneurial skills and philanthropic expertise, he has been able to reach out to many people with food supplies and medical safety kits, something that has helped save many lives during the pandemic. With help from his son Sidhaant, a dedicated team at Ample Mission, and like-minded NGOs, Murarka successfully extended this help to many neighbouring states as well.

Mr. ONKARESHWAR PANDEY, noted Indian Journalist, Author, Thought Leader and Editor in Chief of Indian Observer Post while welcoming the guests in the INDIA-INDONESIA HIGH POWER DIALOGUE said, “Maritime security, Healthcare, Education and Technology are some of the key areas, where India and Indonesia can increase bilateral cooperation and business.”

Highlighting the aims and objectives of the webinar, Mr Pandey, also the Founder and CEO of Golden Signatures said, “Despite the fact that the two great civilizations share over 2,000 years old relationships, our people to people contacts are much below the desired and required level. India-Indonesia relations can grow in a healthy manner in the future if the latter’s past is properly understood and right conclusions drawn by both nations.”

“Trade between the two countries in 2016 was $12.9 billion. It rose 28.7 per cent to $18.13 billion in 2017 with Indonesia's exports to India reaching $14.08 billion and its imports from India standing at $4.05 billion. Now both the countries have set an ambitious $50 billion target for bilateral trade over the next six years during the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joko Widodo’s last meeting held in Osaka, Japan in the sidelines of the G20 Summit on Jun 29, 2019, however we must explore and work for enhance it more and more,” Mr. Pandey said.  

Mr Pandey who has visualized the launch of International Business Connect and Networking Dialogues Series through International webinar concluded that India’s and Indonesia’s world views of “self-reliance” and “national resilience” have evolved out of a common philosophy of non-alignment though differences in interpretation, have resulted out of cultural nuances, historical experience, and policy choices. Indonesia, having a mind-boggling geographical spread; is characterised by intense nationalism, and can boast of an impressive record of economic development. It is the largest member state of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and could potentially play a significant role in Indian Ocean security dynamics. Thus, it should be the subject of far greater attention. Both countries must explore to increase people to people contacts, relations and business too. We must focus on strengthening our relations through economy, education, technology, innovation, health, wellness, and tourism & culture.

Other distinguished speakers and Special Guests were:



Ms. APARNA RANADIVE - Executive Director, Global Chambers, Mumbai

Ms. AARTI GUPTA – Chairperson, Common Ground Consultants, Bangalore 

Dr. RAHUL SINGH - BIMTECH, Greater Noida, UP, India.

Ms. HIMANGI ARORA MISHRA, Founder, Nirmukt Foundation, Delhi

Dr. Sonali Mishra, Academician, Editor, Author and Social worker, Indore, MP

The event was supported and managed by Md. Azharuddin Ahmed and Maahi Yashodhar.

There were three special guests & Observers: Dr. PRIMNATH GUPTA – Trinidad & Tobago; Shri NARAYAN KUMAR - Hony. Director, Linguist & Cultural Activist, ARSP, Delhi; and Shri RAJSHEKHARAN PILLAI, Edu Thought Leader, South Africa.

Mr. CHANDRAN IYER, Founder Editor & Publisher – Corporate Tycoons, Pune gave vote of thanks to the guests.


The event was organised by GOLDEN SIGNATURES and Indian Observer Post in association with Corporate Tycoons, Pune and Asia Strategies Konsulting, Jakarta, Indonesia. It was supported by four knowledge networks - GLOBAL THOUGHT LEADERS WOMEN THOUGHT LEADERS  I WORLD WOMEN'S LEADERSHIP NETWORK INDIAN THOUGHT LEADERS Established in 2018, GOLDEN SIGNATURES (GOLDEN SIGNATURES RESEARCH AND CONSULTING) GSRC has the roots in Rurban Media Pvt Ltd, which was found in 2015. Rurban Media owns Daily Newspapers titled – New Observer Post (English & Hindi) (RNI Registered). Founded by Onkareshwar Pandey, a 9 time experienced Editor, noted journalist and Thought Leader, GOLDEN SIGNATURES is host of several reputed brands, networks of Knowledge Leaders; research, study and survey agency focussed on rural India; and many other leadership series, programs and national level projects. 


INDIAN OBSERVER POST (IOP) is a Class, Creative, and Constructive News platform which publishes ONLY exclusive and Special News / Views / Interviews / Research Articles / Analysis / Columns / Features and Opinions on the national and international issues, politics, security, energy, innovation, infrastructure, rural, health, education, women, and entertainment. Email –






(Onkareshwar Pandey is Founder, Editor in Chief & CEO, Indian Observer Post and former Senior Group Editor- Rashtriya Sahara (Hindi & Urdu) and also former Editor, (News), ANI. Email - SMS- 9910150119)





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