Dear friends of Switzerland
I am delighted to celebrate the Swiss National Day with you in Jakarta.
This year, our national holiday has a special flavour as we celebrate the 175th anniversary of the Federal Constitution, established in 1848.
This jubilee reminds us that Switzerland is one of the oldest and most stable democracies in the world. That's something we can be proud of!
The Federal Constitution of 1848 transformed Switzerland from a confederation of states into a single federal state with its own Constitution. Our ancestors had to develop a common identity on which to build our national cohesion.
A fundamental challenge that your country is well aware of:
"Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" – if I've pronounced it correctly – you'll recognise Indonesia's national motto: unity in diversity.
"Bhinneka Tunggal Ika" – It could just as easily be the motto of Switzerland!
Our two nations share this wealth of different cultures, languages, religions and beliefs.
Ladies and Gentlemen
Switzerland and Indonesia may be far apart geographically, but they are close at heart.
And they are both very dynamic:
- Two years ago we celebrated 70 years of bilateral relations and 50 years of economic cooperation;
- Our free trade agreement within EFTA entered into force, demonstrating our will to intensify our partnership;
- On the 15th of February, the Swiss government adopted a strategy on South East Asia, underlining the fact that Indonesia is a priority partner in the region, in all our activities.
- Switzerland also wants to strengthen its relations with ASEAN and I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate Indonesia on its current ASEAN presidency.
As you can see, Swiss-Indonesian bilateral relations are a success and cover a vast array of issues: vocational training and education, market access, sustainable investment, inclusive growth, disaster risk reduction and human rights.
But there is still potential.
Our work to ensure our prosperity is never done – at home and abroad.
Our positive dynamic should not lead us to rest on our laurels, because nothing is more constant than change!
Who could have predicted a global pandemic or the return of war to Europe?
Nobody. And yet...
Today everything is accelerating:
New trends are born and fade with a few clicks of the mouse; tempers flare as much as the climate; and social media amplify this agitation, not always for the better.
In such a complex environment, we must nurture the spirit of our ancestors: the determination to move forward together, united in our diversity.
This is also my birthday wish for our 175th anniversary:
We need to keep that strength intact!
We must retain the entrepreneurial spirit of both our countries, our desire to move forward, to innovate and to keep open a gateway to a liberal and peaceful world.
Grazie per la vostra attenzione.
Buona festa nazionale!