Ground-breaking Ceremony Marks New Chapter in Vanuatu-Indonesia Relations: Focus on Port Vila Airport Renovation
Overview of the Event
In a significant event on 22nd August, Indonesian Deputy Foreign Minister, Pahala Nugraha Mansury, and Vanuatu’s Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister, Hon. Matai Seremaiah Nawalu, inaugurated the ground-breaking ceremony for the VIP building renovation at Port Vila Airport in Vanuatu. The building had been damaged by Cyclones Judy and Kevin earlier in March 2023.
Context and Importance
Side-Event of MSG Conference
This event took place alongside Deputy Foreign Minister Pahala’s visit to Port Vila, where he attended the 22nd Melanesian Spearhead Group (MSG) Conference.
Solidarity and Empathy
During the ceremony, Deputy Foreign Minister Pahala extended his sympathies for the devastation caused by the natural disasters in Vanuatu. Indonesia, itself familiar with such tragedies, affirmed its solidarity, underlining that “a friend in need is a friend indeed.”
Project Aims and Aspirations
A Boost to Vanuatu’s Tourism
The Port Vila Airport serves as the first impression for tourists visiting Vanuatu. Through this grant-funded renovation, Indonesia aims to enhance that initial experience and contribute positively to Vanuatu’s tourism sector.
The VIP room’s design aims to incorporate elements from both Indonesian and Vanuatu cultures, creating a unique blend that symbolises the friendship between the two nations.
Both sides hope that this project will bolster people-to-people contacts, fostering a closer and more understanding relationship between the residents of the two nations.
Acknowledgments and Future Prospects
Gratitude from Vanuatu
Vanuatu’s Foreign Minister Hon. Matai Seremaiah expressed his gratitude to the Indonesian government, particularly thanking the President and the people of Indonesia for their assistance in the wake of the cyclones.
Deputy Foreign Minister Pahala voiced his hopes that this renovation could pave the way for future collaborations. He emphasised Indonesia’s readiness to engage in additional infrastructure projects in Vanuatu and other Pacific countries.
The Port Vila Airport renovation project is not just a construction endeavour but a significant step in strengthening the cooperative ties between Indonesia and Vanuatu. With mutual respect and shared objectives, both countries look towards a future enriched by closer relations and collaborative efforts.