Indonesia–Spain relations

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Indonesia–Spain relations
Map indicating locations of Indonesia and Spain



Indonesia–Spain relations refers to the bilateral relations of Indonesia and Spain. Spain identifies Indonesia as their natural ally and has named Indonesia as one of priority nation in their foreign relations with Asian region.[1] Indonesia has an embassy in Madrid and consulates in Barcelona and Las Palmas, while Spain has an embassy in Jakarta and a consulate in Denpasar, Bali. Today the cooperation has expanded to various fields, from trade, culture to education and defense technology sector.[2]


Initial contact between the Spanish empire and early kingdoms in Indonesian eastern islands was made in the 16th century, although it was Portuguese, British and Dutch that exercised their colonial rules in the Indonesian archipelago.

During the age of exploration in early 16th century, King Charles I of Spain sent Ferdinand Magellan to find the west route to reach the spice islands. During this period, Spain was contesting Portuguese domination in Indonesian eastern archipelago, and briefly ruled North Sulawesi and Tidore in Maluku, before later pushed north to the Philippines archipelago by the Dutch East India Company in 1663. As the result, unlike its Portuguese and Dutch counterparts, Spanish influence in Indonesian archipelago was brief and quite minimal as they established themselves in the Philippines instead.

The diplomatic relations were officially commenced in 1958, followed with the establishment of embassies in each counterpart capitals. In the aftermath of the 2004 Aceh tsunami, Spanish military together with other international helps, was involved in disaster relief efforts in Aceh and Nias.[2]

State visits[edit]

On 5–8 February 2007, Queen Sofía of Spain visited Indonesia, and inspected Spain's aid projects for reconstruction in Aceh and Nias after the destruction of 2004 tsunami, also a nature conservation project in Gunung Leuser National Park. The queen visited Banda Aceh, Medan, Nias and Jakarta to pay courtesy call to Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono. During her visit, the queen expressed her admiration and astonishment of how well Indonesia manages its country despite the enormous diversity of its people.[3]

Technology and defense cooperation[edit]

Since the 1980s Spain and Indonesia have embarked on strategic partnership in aeronautics technology, Spain's CASA and Indonesia's IPTN (formerly known as Nurtanio) co-designed and co-produced the CN-235 medium transport aircraft. Later Spain has developed it further into C-295 model and assigned Indonesia for its joint production and as distributor in Asian region, previously Indonesia has ordered nine C-295s. In 2013 Spain and Indonesia have signed a memorandum of understanding to improve the defense cooperation, which include education, planning, innovation, logistical support and acquisition of defense products.[2]

Trade and investments[edit]

Total value of trade between two nations reached US$1.92 billion in 2008, US$2.08 billion in 2009, and US$2.18 billion in 2010. The balance of trade mostly in favour to Indonesia, with surpluses from the period 2005-2010, in 2009 Indonesia recorded US$1.58 billion surplus and US$1.62 billion surplus in 2010. Spain ranked the 14th place of Indonesia's export partners that buys coal, copper, palm oil, natural rubber, and electronics. On the other hand, Spain sells airplanes, aluminum, cigarette paper and pharmaceuticals to Indonesia.[4]

Spain's investment in Indonesia is considered has not reached its true potential since there are room to grow. In five years period (2005-2010), Spain's investment has reached the value of US$48.9 million in 17 projects, mainly on construction, chemical and pharmaceutical, transportation, logistics, storage and communications sectors, mostly located in Java and Bali.[4]


  1. ^ "Spanyol Jadikan Indonesia Salah Satu Prioritas Hubungan di Asia" (in Indonesian). Ministry of Foreign Affair Republic of Indonesia. 3 November 2009. Retrieved 13 June 2013.[permanent dead link]
  2. ^ a b c Novan Iman Santosa (14 February 2013). "Spain, RI strengthen defense, relief ties". The Jakarta Post. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  3. ^ "Kunjungan Ratu Sofia dari Spanyol" (in Indonesian). Ministry of State Secretariat of the Republic of Indonesia. 7 February 2007. Retrieved 13 June 2013.
  4. ^ a b "Pengusaha Spanyol Ingin Tingkatkan Investasi di Indonesia" (in Indonesian). Antara News. Retrieved 14 June 2013.

External links[edit]