It has never been imagined that in East Coast of the United States, North Carolina State has a rather close relationship with Indonesia. Besides one of the major importer of soy beans from Indonesia, this state is also one of the main tobacco’s cultivations. Therefore, this state focus on agricultural sector could be one potential to develop cooperation with Indonesia in agricultural sector. This information extended during the Consul General’s working visit to North Carolina, on 14 – 17 May 2010.
In addition to the meeting with North Carolina’s Minister of Agriculture, Hon. Steve Troxler, Consul General and the delegation that comprised of representatives from Bank Indonesia, Forum Perbankan Indonesia in New York, as well as American Indonesian Chamber of Commerce, also met several high officials, such as Hon. Britt Cobb, Chief of Staff from the North Carolina’s Governor’s Office; Senior Adviser of North Carolina’s Governor’s Office; North Carolina’s Deputy Minister of Trade; and Charlotte’s Major, Hon. Anthony Foxx.
During each meeting, Consul General continued to emphasize Indonesia’s increasing role in international world, as reflected in the two books that were given to each officials in North Carolina, which are “Raising Indonesia” and “Can Do Leadership: Inspiring Stories from SBY Presidency”. Consul General also mentioned that Indonesia has a great potential in trade and investment considering that Indonesia is one among the countries that are able to maintain a positive economic growth during global crisis.
This potential is reflected from the statistics on trade volume between Indonesia and North Carolina. During the economic crisis in the United States, export of garments and apparels from Indonesia to North Carolina did not experience a dire decline. Given the fact that North Carolina is one of the centers for furniture trade, it is important to note that export of furniture from Indonesia experienced a decline compare to last year trade. In the meanwhile, for export of rubber from Indonesia to North Carolina, Morehead port remains the second largest destination of these commodities in the United States.
Furthermore, Consul General also held a meeting with and conveyed remarks in front of local business associations in two cities, which are Asian Chambers in Charlotte and World Trade Association in Raleigh. This visit was also important to explore the possibilities to develop technical cooperation with Research Triangle International, which is a non-profit institution that for 25 years has presented in Indonesia and cooperation in health sector with Duke University, which is one of the prestigious universities that has a lot of alumni from Indonesia.
In addition to this visit was the promotion of Indonesia during the Asian Dragon Boat Festival which was supported by Indonesian citizens who live in North Carolina.
The most important message from this visit is there are a lot of opportunities to develop cooperation with North Carolina, particularly by considering the similarity of focus between Indonesia and North Carolina. Given the strong trade relationship between the two parties, various technical cooperation that have been initiated, and people-to-people contact that has been maintained, stakeholders in Indonesia should be able to explore more from the existing potential. (Source: Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia in New York)
Picture Information: The delegation with the Chief of Staff from North Carolina’s Governor’s Office