Olivier Chambard is the brand new ambassador of France to Indonesia, East Timor and ASEAN. After 20 years, he finds a brand new, greater embassy, an indication of the significance and curiosity that France brings to the archipelago.
Indonesia shouldn’t be unknown to you as a result of you could have already been working in Jakarta between 1997 and 2000. Come again 20 years later: what adjustments have you ever seen? What are your impressions ?
I wish to level out that Indonesia is a selection, I utilized for this submit as a result of I actually needed to come back again to this nation that I beloved and knew in a specific interval, between 1997 and 2000. I’m honored to have achieved this essential place and it’s with pleasure that I discover Indonesia.
The adjustments, it’s nonetheless a bit early to speak about it as a result of I’ve solely been there for a month and a half. It could be subjective, however I discover an Indonesia not so completely different from the one I left, definitely there are extra skyscrapers, for some very trendy in Jakarta, however the ambiance appears to me unchanged. The Indonesians I met are at all times straightforward and pleasant, it's actually a pleasure to seek out them.
Nonetheless, after I left Indonesia in 2000, the nation was going by a essential interval in its historical past: a significant monetary and financial disaster and the beginning of democratic establishments. I return to a rustic 20 years later, the place political stability is confirmed and the place financial development is on the rendezvous.
Do you converse Indonesian, a plus in diplomatic relations?
In 20 years, I’ve forgotten vocabulary, I get again to it, I work and I hope to make speedy progress. I have to emphasize that I’m effectively helped by the providers of the Embassy. It will be significant when one is in a rustic to take the time to study the language and to have contacts in that language.
You’ve already met part of the French neighborhood settled in Jakarta: entrepreneurs, international commerce advisers, French highschool … You went to satisfy that of Bali. What are the primary matters of labor but additionally of concern that you’ve got encountered in these communities?
On the French neighborhood at massive, I’ve not met any specific issues however the precedence of the embassy is to comply with, to handle this neighborhood and to offer the consular providers it wants.
We should at all times have issues of safety in thoughts; it’s a nation the place there are numerous pure disasters, our providers are continuously engaged on anticipation and disaster administration.
I rediscover the neighborhood, I discover individuals I knew. I come again from Bali the place the French neighborhood may be very dynamic. The variety of French individuals residing in Bali is barely larger than these residing in Jakarta. It is a novelty for me, 20 years in the past the overwhelming majority of French was settled in Jakarta. The neighborhood has additionally decreased a little bit, the brand new rules have led to a discount of expatriate employees.
So far as entrepreneurs are involved, we’ve got a powerful enterprise neighborhood, there are round 200 French corporations by subsidiaries, consultant places of work and plenty of French individuals who have created their very own companies. Indonesia is a buoyant market, definitely not straightforward. Overseas investments are desired by the Indonesian authorities and vital for the event of the nation, however regulation is typically a bit sophisticated and altering. That is a part of the issues of our compatriots, these are factors that we comply with carefully with the financial service of the Embassy, Enterprise France, international commerce advisers and the French-Indonesian Chamber of Commerce. It’s our precedence to assist French corporations to arrange, it additionally helps to strengthen ties with Indonesia, which wants this cooperation, which isn’t a method; there are expertise transfers and investments that profit Indonesia and French corporations.
Renewable energies are the long run: how can the Embassy and the French authorities affect Indonesia's power selections and make it abandon coal to pure fuel or renewable energies?
Renewable energies are certainly elementary; in France we’ve got a 40% power combine goal by 2030, Indonesia has additionally made commitments following the Paris agreements on the local weather: to extend to 23% of renewable energies by 2025.
Certainly, coal is present in massive portions within the nation; so it's straightforward to make use of. We can’t inform Indonesia what to do however clarify the significance of lowering coal for renewable power. France, by its massive corporations but additionally its SMEs, has experience on this space. The French Company for Improvement has the duty that 70% of its monetary commitments have a constructive impression on the local weather.
The embargo threats to European merchandise following the palm oil disaster appear to be slowly settling down. That is already the case amongst different issues for wines. How do you see the settlement of those tensions?
This must be positioned in a European context the place there may be concern and consciousness of deforestation, biodiversity and local weather. It’s a motion of public opinion that pushes for a sustainable method to cultures. Palm oil is essential for Indonesia, it’s pure for the nation to reply to this downside that impacts its massive corporations and smallholders. The primary factor at our stage is to give attention to a dialogue to realize a sustainable exploitation of palm oil but additionally of any kind of tradition.
It’s not straightforward, you could have talked in regards to the problem of discovering European wines, it’s clearly a warning from the Indonesian authorities that we take significantly and on which we dialogue. With regard to dairy merchandise, there’s a menace of non-renewal of licenses, however it isn’t but very exact, we’re engaged on this difficulty.
We hear a few ban on the acquisition of palm oil in Europe, which is completely false and opposite to the principles of the World Commerce Group. What’s envisaged is the cease of the tax exemption of crude palm oil for its use within the manufacture of biodiesel. Certainly, there’ll now not be a tax incentive for palm oil consumption, which may have an effect in Indonesia. Europe imports 10% of the world's complete palm oil, France 1%. It’s subsequently the problem of the European companions and the Indonesian authorities to place all the info into perspective and to come back out of it by dialogue.
What essential points do you wish to see evolve throughout your mission in Indonesia?
Regardless of the nation, an envoy's mission is to vary political, financial, cultural and scientific relations to the extent of what France can convey, in addition to to bear in mind the consular dimension.
We should enhance our political dialogue, Indonesia will not be sufficiently recognized in France. There are in fact causes for this: remoteness, historical past, the absence of a typical previous. The other can also be true, France is understood right here by pictures of Épinal: its tourism, its luxurious trade, however it isn’t sufficiently acknowledged for its trade, its expertise and its excessive stage of analysis . There may be room for enchancment in our relationships. Indonesia is a crucial and aggressive engaging market the place we’re current and the place we hope to be much more.
A brand new dimension is the precedence axis of the Indo-Pacific zone in French international coverage. The President of the Republic has just lately introduced a technique for this space the place France is current by its positions within the Indian Ocean and the Pacific, its inhabitants of 1 and a half million nationals, its financial pursuits and its army presence. It’s the second unique financial zone * on this planet, after america. There’s a French imaginative and prescient right here that’s based mostly on the security of delivery routes, multilateralism, a powerful maritime financial system, and a sustainable method to world points. On this technique, Indonesia and ASEAN are essential hyperlinks. There’s a robust curiosity in working collectively.
2020 celebrates 70 years of diplomatic relations between France and Indonesia, what are the occasions deliberate for this anniversary?
The celebration of this anniversary should be a vector to accentuate our relationship. We can have occasions in a sequence of areas: cultural, scientific and educational. A e book on 70 years of scientific cooperation with Indonesia will probably be revealed. We work carefully with the Embassy of Indonesia in France, which is able to have a good time the occasion in parallel. Naval stopovers are deliberate, a method to accentuate our strategic dialogue within the Indo-Pacific space. Within the financial discipline, there may also be contracts that will probably be highlighted as a part of this anniversary.
It was talked about throughout our final assembly along with your predecessor the doable arrival of Emmanuel Macron in Indonesia. What’s it?
Presidents Macron and Joko Widodo met twice on the sidelines of the G20 summits, the final at OSAKA in Japan; there was glorious contact between the 2 heads of state. Indonesia is a crucial nation in Southeast Asia, we’re engaged on this go to, however nothing is within the agendas but.
* Unique financial zone: It’s referred to as the “EEZ”, it’s the maritime space (situated between the territorial waters and the worldwide waters) on which the State workout routines its sovereign rights (particularly on the halieutic assets) .
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