To mark Indonesia's Independence Day tomorrow, Viet Nam News presents an article written by Indonesian Ambassador Mayerfas.Tomorrow, we are celebrating the 67th anniversary of Indonesia's independence, at a time when Indonesia's economy is robust and stable, and is less vulnerable to the crisis in some other parts of the world.
|Indonesian Ambassador Mayerfas.
Indonesia is the member of the G-20 and the biggest economy in the Southeast Asia. At the beginning of this year, Fitch Ratings and Moody's granted investment grade status to Indonesia. During the 2008-09 global financial crisis, Indonesia's economy still reached positive growth of 6.1 per cent in 2008, 4.5 per cent in 2009 and 6.1 per cent in 2010.
In the first quarter of 2012, GDP growth was strong thanks to robust domestic demand and despite decreasing export value. For the whole year, our GDP growth is predicted to reach 6.3-6.7 per cent. Stable consumer confidence, strong household consumption and sustained retail sales have became the features of our domestic economy. Increasing investment is the result of a climate conducive to business along with positive perceptions of Indonesia's economic outlook. Now, Indonesia is on track to become a higher middle income country.
One of the sectors with the greatest potential is tourism. During the past 6 months, the number of foreign tourists to Indonesia reached 3.87 million, out of a target of 8 million for the whole year. The rise of the middle class in Indonesia during recent years has also contributed to the growing number of domestic tourists.
Indonesia is the largest archipelago in the world comprising of 17,504 islands. It is located between the continents of Asia and Australia and between the Pacific and the Indian Oceans. Our total population is more than 250 million people, with more than 200 ethnic groups. Our national language is Bahasa Indonesia.
The seven biggest islands in Indonesia are Sumatra, Java, Bali, Kalimantan (formerly Borneo), Sulawesi (formerly Celebes), the Maluku Islands (or better known as Moluccas) and Papua.
|Island of gods: Bali, one of the biggest islands in Indonesia, has been a tourist haven for decades. — File Photo
In terms of tourism, Indonesia is well known for the island of the gods which is Bali. Yet, Indonesia's tourism is not only about Bali, "the world's best island resort" with its enchanting culture, beaches, dynamic dances and music.
Indonesia still has many unexplored islands with grand mountain views, green rainforests to trek through, rolling waves to surf and deep blue pristine seas to dive into and places where one can swim with dugongs, dolphins and large manta-rays.
We have one of the biggest Buddhist temples in the region, which is the Borobudur Temple in Central Java. The other alternative is Yogyakarta, where tourists will have the chance to observe the richness of traditional culture, including the area's royal heritage.
If you would like to experience the beauty of the underwater world, you may visit Raja Ampat Islands in Papua province, which is home to hundreds of species of colourful coral and tropical fish to admire. If you want to see the Paris of the Java (or "Paris van Java" in the Dutch language) you may visit Bandung City in West Java province.
Enjoy Jakarta, the capital city of Indonesia, if you want to have a shopping and culinary adventure. You can visit some mega-scale malls. Don't forget to participate in midnight shopping at some prominent malls in Jakarta. You can also visit the more traditional markets in Jakarta which sell products ranging from general goods to specific items such as Mangga Dua or Tanah Abang.
During your trip in Indonesia, you may enjoy the diversity of our culture, from the old traditions to modern pop culture. You will feel the warmth and the friendliness of Indonesian people. You should also enjoy some time at an Indonesian spa to reinvigorate and to revitalize your body and soul.
Nowadays, we have direct flights from Ho Chi Minh City and we look forward to a direct flight between Ha Noi and Jakarta in the near future. However, there are many flights available for Vietnamese to reach Indonesia's tourist destinations via Singapore, Bangkok or Kuala Lumpur. We do really hope that the Vietnamese people would choose Indonesia as one of their favorite tourist destinations.
This year, Viet Nam and Indonesia are celebrating 67 years of independence. The leaders and the people of both countries will maintain long-standing relations and mutually beneficial co-operation to realise the common interest of the peoples of the two countries for prosperity, peace and stability in the region. —VNS