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Source: Daily Graphic Ghana - The Indonesian government has re-crafted its long-standing relationship with Ghana by issuing free visas to Ghanaians for tourism purposes and to explore its textile and agricultural industries.

Unknown to Ghanaians, however, the free visa process began since April 26 this year with specific mention of Ghana because of its credibility and hospitality.
The idea is, among other things, to open up the country to Ghana in particular and the African market as a whole to explore some of its unique tourism facilities dominated by Hindu and Buddhist temples.

Indonesia, one of Asia’s tigers, is known for its branded batiks which, according to historians, ruled the Asian markets and parts of Africa even before it became common in Ghana.

These came to light during a familiarisation visit by two Ghanaian journalists, accompanied by the third Secretary for Information, Social, Cultural and Consulate Affairs at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia, Mr Abuja Wanry Wabang, to Indonesia.

The textile industry together with the agricultural sector, particularly the rice industry, employs more than two-thirds of the country's youth and more than half of the entire nation's workforce.

Rice is grown in almost all the 34 provinces by the 260 million people, and this can be compared to Ghana's Operation Feed Yourself in the mid 1970s under the Acheampong regime.

Indeed, it is common to find rice at almost all backyards just as Hindu temples could be found in every household and offices at Bali, one of its well-known tourism sites.

Its initiative is being driven by President Joko Widodo under its unitary state government in an attempt to maintain its membership in the G-20 major economies in the world.

Currently, Indonesia's economy is rated 16th in the world by nominal gross domestic products.

Mr Wabang told the journalists that despite Indonesia’s steady growth in the economy, particularly its tourism sector, many people around the world were yet to explore the opportunity.

Bali, one of the three provinces the team visited, was literally lightened by a sea of visitors across the world who thronged many of its dotted sites, including beaches and local food joints.

Hotels were overbooked, traffic was heavy as the revellers, mainly students from Australia and Austria, flooded the various provinces.

However, it still could have been better if the country's currency, the Indonesia rupiah, was a bit more stronger. Its high currency notes, the highest of which is 100,000, was a major talking point and the need for some of the zeros to be knocked off.

 


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