Last week, Indonesia and Italy held the second iteration of their new joint defense cooperation committee meeting. The interaction spotlighted some of the ongoing activity on the security side between the two countries, which has been growing in recent years.
Indonesia maintains defense ties with a wide range of partners, and Italy is on that list. Defense collaboration between the two sides has included several aspects including port visits, defense equipment transfers, and some education and training. That has continued on over the past few years, including the delivery of armored personnel carriers.
One of the mechanisms established to manage ties was the Indonesia-Italy Joint Defense Cooperation Committee (JDCC). Both sides had begun holding the meeting following agreement on the terms of reference for joint defense cooperation inked in October 2016, with a plan to continue to hold regular iterations of the JDCC every two years.
Last week, the defense aspect of the relationship was in focus again with the holding of the second iteration of the Indonesia-Italy JDCC. The meeting was held on November 27 at Borobudur Hotel in Jakarta, and it was led by the heads of the defense ministries on both sides – Nicolo Falsaperna and Hadiyan Sumintaatmadja.
According to Indonesia’s defense ministry (KEMHAN), the meeting itself saw both sides review areas within the defense relationship as well as exploring potential areas for further collaboration as well. For instance, Sumintaatmadja noted that 57 Indonesian military personnel have completed education and training in Italy up to 2018, and noted that this was a key area within broader ties.
Defense industry was another focus of talks. Apart from the official meeting itself, the Italian delegation got to interact with parts of the Indonesian defense industry, with visits to PT Pindad and PT Len in Bandung. While such interactions with defense industry are not entirely new, they nonetheless emphasized ongoing efforts to actually concretize some of the conversations the two countries have had in this area.
Unsurprisingly, neither side disclosed any specifics about exactly what they would look to boost in the future in terms of areas of cooperation, with Sumintaatmadja merely saying that he looked forward to some opportunities being realized and then implemented by relevant ministries and agencies. But as Indonesia and Italy look to advance their defense ties in the coming years, this joint committee meeting will be among the forums to look at to judge the extent to which collaboration on the defense side is actually being advanced.