TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Foreign Affairs Ministry established the first fellowship program dubbed Friends of Indonesia (FOI) for young diplomats across countries. The program aimed at disseminating information related to Indonesia development, particularly at economy and industry aspect hence those young diplomats would later make a great decision for the country should they become leaders.According to the ministry’s Public Diplomacy Director Azis Nurwahyudi, there were ten participants from ten countries including Japan, Myanmar, Nigeria, and Papua Nugini in the program which started from July 18 until 27 in three different places; Jakarta, Bandung, and Bali.“The purpose of the program is to introduce recent Indonesia. Should they become leaders, they will acknowledge Indonesia and can take a decision that benefits Indonesia,” said Azis on Friday, July 20.During the program in Jakarta, the participants would meet Indonesian diplomatic students and learn how to interact with media. In Bandung, they would visit industrial companies C59, Pindad, PTDI, and Biofarma, as well as Museum of Asian-African Conference, while in Bali, the young diplomats would learn democracy in Institute for Peace and Democracy (IPD) and Indonesian culture such as Kecak Dance.“I won’t mention the cost. Diplomacy is not a business. It’s a long-term benefit. We now spend ticket costs and others, but later when they become directors and authority, they’ll acknowledge Indonesia and promote Indonesia to their respective country,” said Azis when asked about the budget allocation for implementing FOI program.He asserted Foreign Affairs Ministry should build 'a bridge', thus it invited young diplomats overseeing Asia regions to Indonesia and provide them experiences to directly see the country’s development. “It’s different from seeing Indonesia from documents,” Azis added.
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