The Czech Republic, the country with one of the most prominent defense and security industry, is seeking to help Indonesia in the modernization of the country’s arsenal.
During a bilateral talk held at the Bogor Palace on Tuesday (18/4), Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and Indonesian President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo discussed the possibilities of a defense cooperation.
Fiala remarked that Indonesia is a strong partner in security and defense, and expressed appreciation for the fact that Czech defense companies have been delivering products to Indonesia, such as the L410 NG aircraft. He also expressed an interest in modernizing the Indonesian army.
“We have had successful joint ventures and technical cooperation. I hope we can cooperate more in security, defense, and cybersecurity,” Fiala said at a joint press briefing.
On the same day, the Czech Chamber of Commerce met with its Indonesian counterpart, Kadin, at a business forum in Jakarta. The two business representative bodies signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) aimed at promoting trade, particularly by facilitating the establishment of joint ventures.
Industrial technological holding Czechoslovak Group and defense firm Republikorp also inked a strategic cooperation agreement on the joint production of the ADS-400 intermediate air defense missile complex.
According to a Republikorp press statement, the ADS-400 is an air defense missile complex equipped with missiles, launchers, and radars to protect an area from fifth-generation fighters, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and cruise missiles.
Speaking at the Indonesia-Czech Business Forum, Shinta Kamdani, Kadin’s coordinating vice chairwomen for investment, expressed that the Czech Republic’s advanced defense industry is well placed to assist Indonesia’s national interest in modernizing and expanding the country’s defense arsenal with a budget of over US$125 billion.
Similarly, the President of the Czech Chamber of Commerce, Vladimír Dlouhý, also commented on Indonesia’s plans for a more modern defense arsenal.
He stated the Czech Republic has a substantial amount to offer Indonesia, with products ranging from revolvers and armaments from firearm producer Česká Zbrojovka, partnerships with armored vehicle producer Excalibur Army, ammunition producer STV and Omnipol, which can provide different types of aircraft and other military equipment.
Enhancing cooperation in other strategic sectors
Indonesia was one of the first countries visited by PM Fiala on his Asian tour after being appointed in November 2021. During this visit, three agreements on bilateral cooperation were concluded, namely Renewal of Defense Cooperation Agreement, Transport Cooperation Agreement, and the Memorandum of Understanding on Cooperation between Defense Universities of the two countries.
Not only in the defence sector, the bilateral meeting between Indonesia and Czech Republic had also agreed to enhance cooperation in various strategic sectors, including trade and investment.
The meeting also discussed issues in the ASEAN and Indo-Pacific region, and plans to organize the ASEAN Indo-Pacific Infrastructure Forum (AIPIF) in September 2023.
Moreover, President Jokowi encouraged the completion of the Indonesia-EU Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (Indonesia-EU CEPA) negotiations in the trade sector. Jokowi also underlined several EU regulations that he considered discriminatory.
Meanwhile, in the field of investment, President Jokowi also invited the Czech Republic to be involved in the development of the new capital Nusantara (IKN).
The Czech Republic is one of Indonesia’s largest trading partners in Central Europe. According to Ministry of Foreign Affairs data, the total trade between Indonesia and the Czech Republic had increased by 11.16 percent to US$254.9 million in 2022 compared to the previous year, while the Czech investment in Indonesia amounted to US$3.2 million, an increase of more than 200 percent from 2021.