Indonesian Media Speak of Upcoming ‘Historic’ Visit by King Mohammed VI
Several Indonesian media outlets wrote that King Mohammed VI will make in December a “historic” visit to Bali, where he will attend the 10th Bali Democracy Forum (BDF).
The Jakarta Post reported that the King will deliver a key note address during the BDF, adding that the visit was confirmed by Moroccan Foreign Minister Nasser Bourita to Deputy Foreign Minister AM Fachir during a recent meeting in Rabat.
Last October, Morocco and Indonesia signed three agreements to increase trade and promote cooperation between the two countries, on the sidelines of the Trade Expo Indonesia 2017 in Jakarta.
These agreements include two MoU signed between the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services of the Fez-Meknes Region and the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Jakarta and Banten, with a view to boosting exchanges and exploring investment opportunities offered by the two countries.
A Morocco-Indonesia business council was also created with the aim of promoting trade and improving business relations.
Official diplomatic ties between the two countries were established in 1960. Yet, bilateral ties can be dated back to the fourteenth century, when a Moroccan traveler named Ibn Batuta visited the court of Samudra Pasai Sultanate in North Sumatra. A close modern-day relationship was cemented during the Asian-African Conference in 1955, at which Jakarta gave its full support to Moroccan independence.
Following the establishment of formal diplomatic ties in 1960, Indonesia’s first president, Sukarno, visited Morocco’s capital, Rabat, in the same year. It was not all smooth sailing, however. In 1967, the Indonesian embassy in Rabat was closed due to the worsening political situation in Indonesia; it re-opened in 1985. A year later, the Moroccan government opened its embassy in Jakarta.
In 1990, Jakarta and Casablanca, Morocco’s largest city, signed a sister city agreement. To demonstrate the strength of their relationship, a famous shopping avenue in Jakarta was named Jalan Casablanca. Meanwhile, in Rabat, an avenue was named after Sukarno, to commemorate his 1960 visit as a token of friendship. In 2014, West Sumatra province inked a sister province agreement with Fes-Boulemane region.
Trade between Jakarta and Rabat has grown in recent years. Morocco mainly exports phosphate, fertilizers, chemicals, iron, and steel rods. Meanwhile, Indonesia sends its coffee, glassware, spices, tea, palm oil, furniture, and garments to Morocco.