Indonesia and Cambodia are set to elevate their cooperation to new heights in 2024 as they celebrate the 65th anniversary of their diplomatic ties.

To mark the occasion, Indonesian ambassador to Cambodia Santo Darmosumarto has announced a series of events and initiatives aimed at boosting economic, cultural, tourism and people-to-people connections between the two nations.

“This year marks a new elevation of cooperation between Indonesia and Cambodia,” he told The Post, “The various initiatives planned throughout 2024 aim to build on this foundation, ensuring a robust and dynamic partnership that benefits both nations.” 

Trade between Indonesia and Cambodia surged past the US$1 billion mark in 2023, making Indonesia Cambodia's sixth-largest trading partner. The remarkable growth was attributed to strategic initiatives that foster robust economic ties.

The 2024 celebration will kick off in June with the Indonesia Health Fest in Sihanoukville, which will feature group exercise classes, a health forum and free health check-ups. 

Scheduled for June 8-9 at the Prince Times Hotel in Sihanoukville, the event aims to promote health and wellness among Indonesian and Cambodian communities. 

“Activities include exercise classes, a health forum with government speakers and free health check-ups,” said Darmosumarto.

At the end of June, the embassy will also carry out special activities at the Indonesia-Cambodia Friendship School, established in 1997 in Prey Veng province. 

The project includes renovations and improvements to the school’s facilities, supported by funds gathered from Indonesian businesses in Cambodia.

A traditional Indonesian performance celebrating 60 years of Indonesia-Cambodia friendship at Chaktomuk Theatre in 2019.Post Staff

It is a kindergarten, primary and junior high school which houses a few hundred students. 

“Hopefully, towards the end of June, we will have a ceremony attended by, of course, the governor of Prey Veng province as well, where we hope that we will showcase as well as open or inaugurate some of the renovations that have been conducted at the school,” said the ambassador. 

“Our intent is to create stronger people-to-people ties and stronger people-to-people bonds between Indonesia and Cambodia,” he added.

Beyond the Health Fest and school renovations, the Indonesian embassy has also planned a major exhibition, “Sousdey Indonesia” in Phnom Penh on September 13-14.

“This will be the largest such exhibition to date, featuring around 100 booths filled with Indonesian products and services, such as education and tourism promotion, aimed at Cambodian consumers, distributors, and importers,” said Darmosumarto. 

The Sousdey Indonesia event is one of many activities that are being conducted for the first time as the two regional nations level up their diplomatic relations.

“Of course, we will try to find activities that have not yet been carried out, to be completed by next year,” said the ambassador.

“We want to do more outside of Phnom Penh. I think the people of the capital are quite spoiled, with a lot of activities here,” he added.

Darmosumarto said it would be nice to be able to do more, perhaps in Siem Reap or Battambang province, or even as far as Poipet or other provinces which are distant from Phnom Penh.

This will be followed by a trade expo in Jakarta from October 12, aimed at encouraging Cambodian business people to explore trade opportunities with Indonesia.