A. THE BILATERAL RELATIONS IN BRIEF
Diplomatic relations between these two countries have been established since the signing of the Joint Declaration Concerning the Establishment of Diplomatic Relations between the Government of Indonesia (represented by the Indonesian Ambassador to Norway, Usodo Notodirdjo) and the Government of Iceland (represented by to Icelandic Ambassador to Norway, Pall Asgeir Tryggvason), in Oslo on June 13, 1983. The function of the Indonesian Embassy to Iceland is carried out by the Indonesian Embassy in Oslo, while the function of the Icelandic Embassy to Indonesia is carried out by the Icelandic Embassy in Tokyo.
B. THE POLITICAL RELATIONS AND COOPERATION
Indonesia and support mutually support each other in international forums. Since 2008, Iceland has actively supported Indonesia as Indonesia became the candidate and was finally elected as the members of the International Maritime Organization Council during 2009-2011, member of the Council Advisory, and the member of the Postal Operational Council for Universal Postal Union during 2009-2011. Meanwhile, the Government of Indonesia also supported Iceland as the candidate of the non-permanent member of the Security Council in 2009-2010, in which Iceland failed.
The relations were getting closer when President Olafur Ratnar Grimsson came to Indonesia on April 24-29, 2010 as Keynote Speaker in the World Geothermal Congress in Bali on April 25, 2010. As the result, Indonesia and Iceland agreed to expand their cooperation in geothermal energy and fisheries. The cooperation in the geothermal energy sector has been developed so far trough the capacity building program for the Indonesian geothermal experts to continue their education and training in geothermal held in the United Nations University Geothermal Program (UNU GTP), in Reykjavik, since 1979.
C. ECONOMICS, TRADE, AND INVESTMENTS RELATIONS
Indonesia-Iceland trade relations have fluctuated year by year, especially during 2008-2011. In 2006 and 2007, Indonesia produced a surplus trade balance, but experienced a deficit of U.S. $ 953,700 in 2008 and U.S. $ 924,800, and again showed a surplus of U.S. $ 983,200 in 2009. So far, Indonesia exports the trade commodities to Iceland through the third country. Although Iceland is relatively a small market, it has a fairly high consumption rate, considering their relatively high income per capita. The main export commodities of Indonesia consist of furniture, garments, and electronic devices.
The Iceland total investment during 1990-2009 consisting of 12 projects reached US$ 697.000, including the transportation industry and other means of transportation (the value of investment was US $ 497,000 within 1 project), and other services as well (total investment value reached US $ 200,000 within a project).
D. SOCIAL, CULTURE, AND TOURISM RELATIONS
In the tourism sector, Iceland is known as one of the Nordic countries, in which most of its citizens are used to travel abroad. Therefore, Iceland has been considered as a promising potential in promoting Indonesia as their tourism destination. There are 43 Indonesian citizens living in Iceland in 2011, mostly housewives. In April 2003, a friendship forum was established; called Indonesian-Icelandic Society, comprising Indonesian citizens and sympathizers.
E. FISHERIES AND MARITIME RELATIONS
Fishery contributes 70% of Iceland total export earnings, and Iceland itself is the 13th largest exporter of fishery in the world. Taking into account that Iceland already has a very advanced fishing technology, the Indonesian Embassy in Oslo has made serious attempt to build a partnership in the management of fisheries, advanced fishing technology, fishing industry and IUU with the Icelandic Ministry of Fisheries. On 11-13 April 2008, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries of RI has visited Iceland as invited by the Minister of Fisheries and Agriculture of Iceland. During the visit, Minister of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries held a meeting with the fisheries training agency, and negotiated the possibility of a pilot project for the electronic log book installment on the Indonesian fishing vessels, partnership in the quality control, and the signing of the LOI of Marine and Fisheries Cooperation.
F. GEOTHERMAL RELATIONS
Indonesia and Iceland cooperation in the geothermal sector was initially marked by the implementation of the Geothermal Forum of Indonesia-Iceland in Reykjavik, on September 12-13 2007, held by the Indonesian Embassy in Oslo and the Iceland Ministry of Industry, Energy, and Tourism, and Reykjavik Energy (REI). The forum resulted the signing of MoU between the Government of the Republic of Indonesia and the Government of the Republic of Iceland on the Cooperation of Energy and Minerals, signed by the Minister of Energy and Human Resources of RI and the Minister of Industry and Energy of Iceland.
As the follow-up, on October 23, 2007, Pertamina and Reyjavik Energy also signed the MoU of the Geothermal Development in Indonesia, consisting of a partnership in training and development of the geothermal expertise, geothermal technology research, a study of prospects and feasibility ranking, geothermal projects, investment for geothermal development, geothermal technology research, investment for geothermal development, and partnership in the geothermal drilling operation.
In addition, in attempt to improve the human resources capability, Indonesia and Iceland have also agreed to hold a joint geothermal training in UNU GTP (United Nations University Geothermal Program), Rykjavik. Approximately, 20 geothermal specialists, mostly Indonesian, have joined the training since 1982.