Indonesia and Sweden inked a defense framework agreement this week as they look to broaden and deepen their bilateral cooperation.
Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu and his visiting counterpart from Sweden Carl Anders Peter Hulqvist signed the new pact at the Indonesian defense ministry on Tuesday.
Sweden, one of the world’s largest weapons exporters, and Indonesia, the world’s fourth most populous nation, already have a longstanding defense relationship. For instance, Indonesia’s military has been using the RBS 70 man-portable air-defense system and the Giraffe radar system for its air defense and Sweden has also sold items like anti-aircraft guns to Jakarta since the 1980s. Swedish defense company Saab has also been looking to market other equipment including the Gripen fighters and Erieye radar system.
“Cooperation between Sweden and Indonesia has been established long before and the signing of the memorandum of understanding is a step forward to deepen the defense cooperation between the two countries,” Hulqvist said according to local media outlets.
The Indonesian defense ministry described the “Agreement on Cooperation in the Field of Defense” as a “general framework” to strengthen defense relations between the two countries across several fields.
“The purpose of this agreement is to provide a general framework to boost bilateral defense cooperation in the defense field, including cooperation between the military,” the ministry said in a short statement following the signing.
The ministry said that the pact covers six key areas of defense cooperation between the two countries. These covered information exchange in political-military relations, including maritime security; exchanging best practices and cooperation between agencies engaged in research and development, science, and technology; exchanges related to logistics and maintenance support; collaboration in defense industry including technology transfer, joint research, and joint production; developing and improving training and education; and military medicine and military health services.
According to The Jakarta Post, Ryamizard said both countries could soon appoint defense attaches at their respective embassies to implement the agreement. Currently, for instance, Indonesia’s defense attaché in the United Kingdom, Rui Duarte, also oversees its defense relations with Denmark and Sweden.