Asia Defense

Indonesia, Greece Eye Stronger Defense Ties

A recent meeting puts the growing defense relationship in the spotlight.

Indonesia, Greece Eye Stronger Defense Ties
Credit: Indonesia Ministry of Defense

On January 25, the secretary general of Indonesia’s defense ministry received a courtesy call from Greece’s ambassador to Indonesia Georgios Dogoritis. The development placed the spotlight on the growing defense partnership between the two countries.

The idea of more defense collaboration between Indonesia and Greece would make sense for both sides. Indonesia would be able to further expand its growing list of defense industrial partnerships while developing its indigenous capabilities, a key priority under the government of President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo (See: “An Indonesian Defense Revolution Under Jokowi?”). Greece, for its part, would be able to promote Greek military products to an important and growing Asian market.

It is no surprise, then, that both sides have already been looking at opportunities to expand their defense relationship. When Indonesian Defense Minister Ryamizard Ryacudu met with Dogoritis in April 2016, they had discussed areas for further collaboration, including in the maritime realm. The two defense ministers met in November 2016 and both countries also inked a letter of intent (LoI) on defense cooperation.

Indonesia’s defense ministry said that this week’s meeting was meant to follow up on the results of that last meeting. In a statement, the ministry said that “a series of cooperation activities” will be implemented in 2017 to that effect, including “the exchange of intelligence information.” Few specifics were offered as to what this would entail. This would add to the ongoing cooperation that Greek companies have been trying to forge with Indonesian state-owned firms like PT Pindad.

Looking ahead, Dogoritis reportedly said that this ongoing collaboration could be the building blocks for greater defense industry collaboration in the future. He also suggested that the Indonesian delegation visit the Greek booths in future defense exhibitions for further talks.