The implementation of sister city cooperation between Denpasar and Perth

This article aims to measure the achievement of the implementation of sister city cooperation between Denpasar and Perth, which has officially collaborated on 14 December 2020.

This article aims to measure the achievement of the implementation of sister city cooperation between Denpasar and Perth, which has officially collaborated on 14 December 2020. In measuring the achievement of cooperation using the concept of sister city cooperation based on two indicators, namely, communication and resources proposed by Edward. For further elaboration, a description of the Denpasar and Perth sister city cooperation is first described.

The signing of the Memorandum of understanding (MOU) of sister city cooperation between Denpasar and Perth was carried out by Denpasar Mayor IB Rai Dharmawijaya Mantra and Perth City Chief Executive Officer, Michelle Reynolds virtually. The agreed cooperation sectors consist of tourism, creative economy, Business Incubator (INBIS) curriculum and science and technology development. The signing of the MOU is a form of following up on the Letter of Intent in the city of Perth on 26 November 2018 (Tauhid, 2023). Sister city cooperation in its implementation has a legal position based on Law No. 37 of 1999 concerning Foreign Relations, Law No. 24 of 2000 concerning International Agreements, in Indonesia sister city cooperation refers to Law No. 23 of 2014 concerning Regional Government (Simbolon et all, 2019). Each region is given special autonomy to conduct cross-border cooperation.

In simple terms, sister city cooperation is a concept that explains how the relationship between local governments from two different countries can be improved in an effort to enhance sustainable development programmes.  Every implementation process of the cooperation should be evaluated every time to maximise the objectives. According to Kelowna, there are several principles that serve as benchmarks to form sister-city cooperation, namely: 1) shared similarities, 2) potential for exchange, 3) relationship of interest, 4) the community is the focus of the programme, 5) provide strategic benefits, 6) do not conduct sister city cooperation in the same field as other cities and 7) political stability (Nuralam, 2018). To measure implementation based on Edward’s reference that, sister city cooperation on implementation is manifested into a regional policy that must be implemented in accordance with the target year of implementation and is binding between the two parties.

In knowing the achievement of the implementation of a cooperation policy according to Edward, there are four indicators, namely, communication, resources, disposition and bureaucratic structure. However, in measuring the achievement of sister city cooperation between Denpasar and Perth using two indicators, namely; a) Communication: the delivery of orders and information related to policies from policy makers to personnel clearly and accurately. b) Resources: without human and material resources, the achievement of regional policies cannot increase even though communication is going well (Dewi, 2020). The use of both indicators is because this paper wants to see how communication is established to empower existing resources in Denpasar as an indicator of successful cooperation.

The description of the analysis in measuring the achievement of the success of the Denpasar and Perth sister city cooperation, first measured from the communication indicator, talks about the delivery of orders and information related to policies from policy makers to personnel, in this case the community in Denpasar clearly and accurately. This cooperation was established during the Covid-19 pandemic which should have been a challenge in communicating, but when viewed in the cooperation sector consisting of tourism, economy, INBIS and science and technology programs, it can run and have a significant impact. It is known that despite being constrained by the pandemic that limits both parties to make visits, both Denpasar and Perth maximise virtual communication to make an MOU agreement so that this collaboration has been formalised.

In addition, the two regions planned to make a visit but were constrained by the pandemic. These obstacles do not prevent Denpasar and Perth from continuing to carry out cooperation programmes such as conducting virtual workshops on the topic of making online masterclass animations. There is also a science and technology development programme carried out through the Sustainable Business Incubator (INKURI) activity. This activity opens up opportunities for 1,000 Balinese young people to take part in the 2021 entrepreneurship scholarship selection. This program is one form of realisation of sister city cooperation for the development of science and technology by empowering creative and digital skills in order to create start-ups in building an economy other than the tourism sector. The realisation of the programme in cooperation shows that there is communication between the authorities that is conducive and successful in determining and achieving cooperation goals.

For the second indicator, resources talk about human and material resources in addition to communication, this indicator also determines the success of this sister city cooperation. In this collaboration, the previous point has shown how the involvement of 1,000 Balinese young people who were given the opportunity to get entrepreneurial scholarships, this shows that human resources are empowered. While in other sectors of cooperation such as tourism and the economy during the covid-19 pandemic, it had a quite alarming impact on the future of Bali tourism, because it greatly affected the economy. Based on data from in 2021 there was a drastic decrease in tourist visits to Denpasar of only around 45 visits, while in the previous year there were 1,069,270 visits. In 2022, there was an improvement, it was recorded that the sister city collaboration between Denpasar and Perth had positive results, based on data from, there were 317,505 foreign tourists, most of whom were 107,946 tourists of Australian nationality (Tauhid, 2023). The increase in tourists, especially from Australia, shows the success of sister city cooperation between the two regions in increasing visits in the tourism sector. Increased tourism visits have major implications for economic growth, as transport modes move, hotels, holiday spots, restaurants to small community businesses.

Based on the description of the two indicators of communication and culture in the implementation of sister city cooperation between Denpasar and Perth is classified as a successful collaboration. Communication indicators show that there is efficient communication from the government to the community, so that even in the midst of facing a pandemic, communication continues to run smoothly. On the other hand, it provides new education and benefits where digital communication is able to connect and facilitate the success of sister city cooperation despite the distance of the region. While the resource indicator shows significant success in tourism cooperation, there has been an increase in visitors, most of whom come from Australia. For this reason, it can be concluded that, in sister city cooperation, intensive and conducive communication is the determinant of being able to manage existing resources and determines the success of a sister city cooperation.

Rivelda Pricilia Heatubun
Rivelda Pricilia Heatubun
Postgraduate student in Master of International Relations at the Gadjah Mada.