JAKARTA, Jan. 22 (Xinhua) -- Indonesia and Cuba celebrated 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic ties, the Jakarta Post reported on Friday.
Diplomatic relations were established 50 years ago during the historical visit of then Indonesian president Sokarno to the Cuban capital city of Havana. Since then relations between the countries have been consistently strong, the report said.
"Cuba always highly values its friendly and cooperative relations with Indonesia," Cuban Ambassador to Indonesia Jorge Leon said, quoted by the daily.
"In its relations with Cuba, Indonesia focused on cooperation in areas like sports and health in which the former has expertise, " the Director of South America and Caribbean affairs at the Indonesian Foreign Ministry Prayono Atiyanto said.
Indonesia has sent boxers, volleyball players and gymnastics players to Cuba for training.
In the health sector, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said, the health ministers of Cuba and Indonesia signed a Letter of Intent (LoI) in December 2006 regarding cooperation in developing new vaccines for dengue fever, malaria, HIV and AIDS.
The two nations have also organized the Joint Commission of Cuba and Indonesia five times. The last one was held in Havana, the Cuban Embassy said.
On the economic front, the bilateral trade has also been growing
Based on the Indonesia's Central Statistics Agency's data, bilateral trade between Indonesia and Cuba reached 12.79 million U. S. dollars in 2008. In the first 10 months of 2009, the two-way trade reached 6.27 million dollars.