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Czech Republic eyes Indonesia's defense modernization

Jakarta Globe - April 19, 2023

Jayanty Nada Shofa, Jakarta – The Czech Republic is seeking to help Indonesia's defense arsenal modernization plans.

Visiting Czech Prime Minister Petr Fiala and President Joko "Jokowi" Widodo had discussed, among others, defense cooperation during their bilateral talks at the Bogor Palace on Tuesday.

"Indonesia is our strong partner in security and defense. I appreciate that Czech defense companies deliver products to Indonesia, including the L 410 NG aircraft. We are also interested in modernizing the Indonesian army," Fiala said at the joint press briefing.

"We have had successful joint ventures and technical cooperation. I hope we can cooperate more in security, defense, and cybersecurity."

Also on the same day, the Czech Chamber of Commerce met with its Indonesian counterpart Kadin at a business forum in Jakarta. The two business representative bodies inked a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on promoting trade. Under this MoU, they agreed to facilitate the establishment of joint ventures.

Industrial technological holding Czechoslovak Group and defense firm Republikorp also inked a strategic cooperation agreement on the joint production of the ADS-400 intermediate air defense missile complex. According to a Republikorp press statement, the ADS-400 is an air defense missile complex equipped with missiles, launchers, and radars to protect an area from fifth-generation fighters, helicopters, unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs), and cruise missiles.

"The Czech Republic's advanced defense industry as a prominent weapon manufacturer aligns with Indonesia's national interest in modernizing our defense equipment with a budget of over $125 billion," Shinta Kamdani, Kadin's coordinating vice chairwoman for investment, said at the Indonesia-Czech Business forum.

Vladimir Dlouhy, the president of the Czech Chamber of Commerce, also commented on Indonesia's plans for a more modern defense arsenal.

"Your country has a substantial defense budget. $125 billion is a lot of money. We can offer you a lot [of things]," Dlouhy told Indonesian reporters on the sidelines of the conference.

"For instance, revolvers and armaments from [firearm producer] Ceska Zbrojovka. [As well as partnerships] with armored vehicles producer Excalibur [Army] ... and ammunition producer STV. [We also have] Omnipol that can offer different types of aircraft and other military equipment," Dlouhy said.

According to Kadin, Indonesia-Czech trade totaled $254.9 million in 2022. This marks an 11-percent increase from the previous year.

Source: https://jakartaglobe.id/news/czech-republic-eyes-indonesias-defense-modernizatio