(Jakarta, 30th January 2019) Located in Central Europe, Poland has grown to become one of the highest Human Development Index (HDI) countries in the region. Its employment rate is very low compared to the rest of the European Union (EU) countries, which was only 3,8% by the end of 2018. Its infrastructure has been known as one of the most efficient models in the world and its citizens live in a very high standard of living and education.
However, despite all of these notable achievements, many Indonesian are still not familiar with this country. Many still consider Poland as part of the Eastern Europe countries, or as Ambassador Peter Gontha mentioned during his visit to Bengkel Diplomasi FPCI, “Somewhere in the North Pole.”
Introducing Indonesia to the Polish people, as well as strengthening the good bilateral relations between Poland and Indonesia, was a daunting task at first for Ambassador Gontha. His background as a businessman instead of a career diplomat brought him homework to properly understand the established diplomatic ties between both countries and figured out the best strategy to improve the mutually beneficial cooperation between Indonesia and Poland.
Nonetheless, with his strong personality, extensive knowledge of the international affairs world, and rich experience in the economic and business sectors, he managed to improve both countries trade relations, promote Indonesian culture, and intensify the people-to-people connections. With all these achievements, on 11th December 2018, Ambassador Gontha received the honorary star award from the President of Poland, Andrzej Duda in recognition of his contribution to Indonesia and Poland bilateral relations.
On a full-room public discussion that was moderated by Dr. Dino Patti Djalal, Ambassador Gontha shared his experience leading the Embassy of Indonesia in Warsaw for the past 5 years. He also shared his view on diplomacy, world’s politics, and his thoughts on how Indonesia should move forward in the middle of the global uncertainty and the vast development of technology.
Improvement of the education quality and a more serious take on science and technological innovations are few strategies that Ambassador Gontha believes will help Indonesia secure a better future. To learn more about Ambassador Peter Gontha’s commentary during FPCI Public Discussion, kindly check this discussion note below.