Indonesia–Italy relations refers to the bilateral relations of Indonesia and Italy. Italy has shown strong desire to improve its relations with Indonesia, especially in intercultural understanding and trade. Indonesia recognizes Italy's strategic location and important role in the middle of Mediterranean region, while Italy has favoured relations with Indonesia, and sees Indonesia as the leader in Southeast Asia. The relations between two countries not only important to bridge the two regional communities; European Union and ASEAN, but also vital as intercultural and interfaith dialog, since Indonesia has the largest Muslim population in the world, and Italy is the heart of the Catholic faith.
Italian explorers are among first European that reached Indonesian archipelago, the pioneer's reports provided initial information on Asia for later European explorer to follow during the age of exploration. In late 13th-century Marco Polo made a stop in Samudra Pasai, Aceh Northern Sumatra, on his way back from China. In early 14th-century, Mattiussi, a Franciscan friar, visited several places in today's Indonesia: Sumatra, Java, and Banjarmasin in Borneo, between 1318–1330. In his report he describe the gilded palace of Javanese King and the war to Great Khan of China. It was the court of Majapahit king Jayanegara in Trowulan that being visited by Mattiussi.
The diplomatic relations started with Italian recognition to Republic of Indonesia on 29 December 1949. Indonesian official representative in Rome was established in March 1952, while the Italian Republic had established its official representative in Jakarta on October 1952. In December 1953, both governments agreed to upgrade the status of their representatives in Rome and Jakarta into embassies.
In 1997, the Prime Minister of Italy Romano Prodi visited Indonesia, and in 2002. President of Indonesia, Abdurrahman Wahid, had his official visit to Italy, followed by President Megawati Soekarnoputri’s visit in 2003. The Ministers of Foreign Affairs of the two countries signed an MoU of the establishment of Bilateral Consultation Forum in March 2009. In 23–24 April 2012, Italian Minister of Foreign Affairs Giulio Terzi visited Indonesia to attend the EU-ASEAN Summit.
Trade and investment
In 2012 the bilateral trade figures have reached US$4.5 billion. Italian government describes Indonesian proposal to boost bilateral trade as extremely attractive one, and both countries noted there is room for growth.
Interculture and interfaith dialog
As a nation with the largest Muslim population, yet also a democratic country that values diversity, Italy recruited Indonesia on its efforts to pursue world peace through interfaith dialog in 2009. Italy and Indonesia shares their determination to work for peace in the Middle East, their concern over the human rights and commitment to fighting fundamentalist-inspired terrorism. Italy compliments Indonesia's quality of cultural diversity and its potential role to become the bridge between the West and Islam.
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- "Italy-Indonesia: possible trade increase from $4.5 to 25 billion - partnership for major investments, says Terzi". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy. 24 April 2012. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- Mathias Hariyadi (24 April 2012). "Jakarta and Rome promoting interfaith dialogue to counter extremism". Asia News. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- "Ritual Networks and Royal Power in Majapahit Java, page:100". Persee. 1996. Retrieved 14 July 2010.
- "Kerjasama Bilateral - Italia". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Republic of Indonesia. Retrieved 14 June 2013.
- "Italy-Indonesia: dialogue resumes with moderate Islamic state. Frattini: Indonesia can act as a bridge between the West and Islam". Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Italy. 5 March 2009. Retrieved 14 June 2013.