“Indonesia Incorporated Enhancing International Relations for Sustainable Economic Growth”

BSD News, 27 June 2016

On Thursday, the 2nd of June 2016, the international relations committee of KADIN Indonesia  held a full-day-national working meeting entitled “Indonesia Incorporated Enhancing International Relations for Sustainable Economic Growth”. Government Ministers, CEO’s, ambassadors and  KADIN members attended this event in order to discuss the position of Indonesia as part of the international community, in improving a strong and sustainable economic growth. “This meeting is necessary to harmonize the perspective of the stakeholders in facing the challenges in the current global economy” said Shinta Widjaja Kamdani, the Vice Chairman for International Relations of KADIN Indonesia  in her opening remarks. She also mentioned the importance of KADIN’s role as the major government’s partner for the economic development in Indonesia.

Rosan Perkasa Roeslani, the Chairman of KADIN Indonesia, reinforced that the meeting is essential, especially in the current situation where the globalization becomes more integrated. “On various occasions, President Joko Widodo  mentioned that we had chosen to be open, since it is undeniable for Indonesia”. Moreover, he spoke that Indonesia is already part of ASEAN Economic Community (AEC), whereas single market is implemented and  production base are characterized by free flow of goods, services, and investments, as well as free flow of capital and skills. “Indonesia is also expecting the realization of CEPA agreements with other countries in order to move forward and to be more competitive” added Roeslani.

The audience was then surprised with the presence of Retno Marsudi, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, as she just confirmed the attendance in the last minutes. “Everyone agrees that Asia is the mover of world’s economy, since the average economic growth in Asian countries has exceeded the average economic growth in the world” stated Marsudi. While discussing the infrastructure development, Marsudi also explained that investment funded projects could be a solution for the funding of the suspended infrastructure projects in Indonesia. Minister Marsudi closed the remarks by quoting a song “I believe I can Fly” to encourage the Indonesian private sectors to “spread the wings” to other countries.

As one of the highlights of the meeting, KADIN Indonesia also held a panel discussion entitled  Indonesia Incorporated: How to develop  a sustainable economy in Indonesia. This discussion was moderated by Yos Ginting (Chairman of Permanent Committee on International Trade) and featured by Saleh Husin (Minister of Industry), Thomas Lembong (Minister of Trade) and Franky Sibarani (Head of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board/BKPM). 

Saleh Husin started the discussion with an overview of the industry’s current situation in Indonesia. “The Ministry of Industry is focusing on 5.3%-5.7% of industrial growth in 2016” said Husin. Therefore, he further explained that Indonesia has currently settled 10  industry sectors as priority to develop such as  agriculture, textile, footwear and pharmaceutical. “Consequently, it is necessary to have a good coordination as well as collaboration between the related institutions and private sector to realize the target” stressed Husin.

Thomas Lembong joined the discussion and shared his presentation about Indonesia’s position in Free Trade Agreement (FTA). According to him, the position of Indonesia in FTA  is currently left behind  compared to some other ASEAN countries. “Singapore has signed 26 FTAs, Thailand and Philippine have signed 16 FTAs, and Malaysia has signed 18 FTAs. But Indonesia has only signed 10 FTAs. Indonesia should sign more Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreements (CEPA) to be more competitive” stated Lembong. He further revealed that by opening ourselves in this competitive era, we are forced to increase our quality and productivity. 

Afterwards, Franky Sibarani  shared the statistics on the foreign investment in Indonesia during 2015. He pointed out that the investment realization has increased by 17.8% and  created 1.4 million jobs. The total projects has doubled and the investment interest has also increased 45% . “In 2015, Indonesia exceeded Vietnam in the investment out of all total investments in ASEAN countries. This indicates that Indonesia has the potential to compete with other ASEAN countries” added Sibarani. In his opinion, KADIN is an important partner for the government as well as for BKPM. Moreover, he hoped that KADIN gives response and feedbacks on the policies issued by the government.

After the panel discussion, the participants had the options to participate in the parallel meetings on several topics:  trade,  investment and programs. These targeted meetings are needed to obtain feedbacks from the stakeholders in concepting inputs in the related topics for the government.

Abdurrahman Mohammad Fachir, the Vice Minister of Foreign Affairs were honorly invited to close this full day national working meeting. “I am really interested in the inputs from the KADIN members. And now, how does the Ministry of Foreign Affairs could help the mission of KADIN Indonesia abroad?” stressed Fachir. He then invited the members of KADIN Indonesia to utilize the 132 Indonesian embassies and consulates worldwide in assisting them to do business abroad. In this meeting, some MOUs were also signed between KADIN Indonesia and other institutions, such as with Ministry of Industry, Ministry of Trade, BKPM, Britcham and IHK Trier.  (AI)