Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The African Union expects more economic cooperation with ASEAN countries, particularly Indonesia, in order to strengthen bilateral relations.

"In this Africa Day celebrations, we underline our efforts to strengthen the bilateral relations between the African Union and ASEAN, in keeping with the spirit of the Asian-African Conference held in Bandung in 1955," said Alice Mageza, Dean of African Ambassadors in Indonesia, here on Friday.

Mageza said that through partnership, the African Union has established a good relationship with Indonesia since the implementation of the Asian-African Conference in Bandung.

Therefore, Africa would like to establish solidarity with a number of Asian countries, like Indonesia, through South-South cooperation, India-Africa Partnership, the Non-Aligned Movement and the G-77.

"In this celebration (Africa Day), the African Union emphasizes the need for greater focus on mutual benefits to the economy than on international political relations," Mageza remarked.

Meanwhile, the managing director of the African Region Directorate from the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry, Sunarko, said that Indonesia has intensified its bilateral relations with several countries in the African region.

Sunarko said that in the last five years, the Indonesian Government has been committed to enhance capacity-building program for a number of African countries.

"With the increased capacity building through technical training, agriculture and other training, we can avail of the opportunity to introduce Indonesia`s potential to the African region. Furthermore, this will establish the business-to-business cooperation approach," Sunarko observed.

In the first six-month period of 2011, the value of Indonesia`s exports to Africa increased by 53 percent, or the equivalent of more than US$2.5 billion (Rp23,75 trillion), while the trade volume between Indonesia and Africa exceeded US$9.7 billion (Rp92,17 trillion).
(T.A050/INE/KR-BSR/H-YH)