On his second day of visit to New York, Indonesian Vice President accompanied by the Head of BKPM, Gita Wirjawan, and Indonesian Ambassador in Washington, DC., Dr. Dino Patti Djalal, held a meeting with approximately 70 U.S. entrepreneurs from infrastucture, oil, energy, and construction sectors, at Intercontinental Barclay Hotel, on 24 September 2010. During that business luncheon, Indonesian Vice President gave a presentation regarding the recent Indonesian economic development, especially post economic crisis in Southeast Asia during 1997 - 1998 as well as our success went through global economic crisis in 2008 - 2009.
Indonesian Vice President explained that Indonesia's fundamental philosophy in developing economic sector is 'creating new growth centers' and 'connecting those new growth centers.' Both fundamental policies basically are intended to create new investment opportunities which eventually will help creating new jobs in those growtn centers.
The issue of connectivity is an issue that requires our attentions and serious handling to improve Indonesia's competitiveness vis-a-vis other competitors in the region. It is projected that Indonesia would be able to cope with this issue within 6 - 7 years. Indonesian Vice President also underlined our strategy by decreasing our dependency to raw materials and starting to replace them with added-value products as well as by developing domestic product processing.
Furthermore, Indonesian Vice President also mentioned that fiscal and monetary management policies should be continued prudently. Indonesia will maintain its discipline in managing its deficit so it does not pass 2 (two) percent. These management policies are believed to be able to ensuring economic stability in the long run. Therefore, the issue now is finding resources of funding outside of the APBN to support sustainable development in Indonesia.
Meanwhile, the Head of BKPM in his remarks explained about our efforts to improve the situation for investment in Indonesia. Indonesia wants to restore its image and position as country of destination for investment and business in the world. Head of BKPM also mentioned abour the improvement of U.S. investment in Indonesia, which during the first semester of 2010 ranked on the third position after Singapore and Mauritius.
Head of BKPM highlighted several international agenda, such as the host for ASEAN 2011 and APEC 2013 which will be held in Indonesia. It is intended to restore our image as a new democratic country which is safe, dynamic and stable, with a tolerant Muslim community, moderate, and modern.
Indonesian Ambassador shortly presented the development of RI-U.S. bilateral relationship which will soon enters the era of Comprehensive Partnership. Indonesian Ambassador also illustrated RI-U.S. relationship which is supported by personal relations between both state leaders. It is expected that President Obama's plan to visit Indonesia at the end of 2010 will promote a wider opportunity for cooperation. We expect for the successful first meeting of RI-U.S. Ministerial Joint Commission, in Washington, DC., on 17 - 18 September 2010. Furthermore, we also expect that RI-U.S. economic, investment, and trade relationshiop will increase in the future, as conveyed by Indonesian Ambassador during the meeting.
During the discussion session, the luncheon participants asked question and shared their experiences in regards to efforts to combating terrorism, Indonesia's role in creating a new regional architecture, Indonesia's chairmanship in ASEAN, Indonesia's agenda as ASEAN Chair 2011, as well as their various experiences in conducting business and investment in Indonesia. Entrepreneurs in energy sector also asked about Indonesia's strategy and priority in developing energy sector to support economic development in Indonesia.
In response to the questions, Vice President, Ambassador, and Head of BKPM alternately gave their responses by underlining our optimism in maintaining a positive economic growth, the creation of a new Pacific Asia architecture through the establishment of ASEAN Community 2015 with its three pillars, as well as Indonesia's commitment for an open and unprotected economy. Underlined by Vice President, Indonesian government is not against free market, but its role is still needed to manage economic policies and regulations. Head of BKPM also mentioned that Indonesia's young generation as the biggest part of Indonesian demography owns a high spirit of entrepreneurship and independence. (Source: Consulate General of the Republic of Indonesia)