JAKARTA – Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA), in collaboration with Indonesian Gastronomy Association (IGA), hosted the National Seminar on Economic Diplomacy: “Gastro-diplomacy to Strengthen the Indonesian Economy” in Jakarta, Thursday (17/10/2019).
Around 250 people participated in the event that provided an opportunity to share knowledge and experience on culinary businesses, especially on Indonesian specialty. “Food is a national identity. Gastro-diplomacy will support the Indonesian economic diplomacy,” Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said.
MoFA’s Information and Public Diplomacy Director General Cecep Herawan stated Gastro-diplomacy is not only to achieve business target, but also serve as soft-power diplomacy to improve Indonesia’s image as well as to encourage Indonesian food industry overseas.
MoFA’s Policy Research and Development Agency Siswo Pramono said that Indonesia should focus on expanding its food industry overseas, collaborating with diasporas, creating a signature tradition, and considering the sensitivity of particular dishes in other parts of the world (for instance, the consumption of beef in India).
Attendees at the event included officials from ministries/institutions, social organizations, academicians, college students, culinary businesspeople, etc. Culinary experts who are also business owners from Thailand and South Korea. They are Karim Raoud of Paris-based Blue Elephant and Steven Kim from Qraved. Indonesian restaurants owners, Hendra Noviyanti of Upnormal and Rama Auwines of Sari Ratu, also shared thoughts on culinary business at the forum. **