Closing Remarks Indonesia Australia Business Week Launch Breakfast

By: Hariyadi B Sukamdani

Ladies and Gentlemen,

First of all, I would like to thank you to Australian Embassy Jakarta for inviting me to participate in this Business Week launch breakfast and having opportunity to provide brief closing remarks.  

As closing remarks, I would like to highlight the key messages delivered from the previous speeches. It is clear from the Ambassador Mr. Grigson's remarks and the Minister Robb's remarks that Government of Australia has the commitment to enhance the trade and investment relationship with Indonesia by exploring new opportunities to grow the trade and investment links.  I personally appreciate this commitment and hope that I can see its realization in the near future.

Meanwhile, it is also clear how Indonesia positioning itself to achieve growth in the future. We all can see how Indonesian government has struggled to deliver the accelerated growth amid global economic uncertainty particularly with China rebalancing its economy and the US Federal Reserve preparing to normalize its monetary policy. We see that the government has recognized the need to improve business confidence and the investment climate to enhance growth by taking needed measures. For instances, since its early day, the government has taken a notable step to free up fiscal space for infrastructure development by cutting fuel subsidy. Then, when the economic growth in the first quarter of 2015 is lower than expected, at 4,72% year on year, the government tried to improve public capital spending and for the first nine months of 2015, the spending has increased by 21.4% percent in real terms, compare to the same period of 2014. Moreover, since late September, President Jokowi has also introduced a raft of policies package to make it easier to invest in Indonesia and boost household purchasing power.  I expect that all these measures help GDP return to a higher sustainable pace of growth and it seems to work if we see third quarter of GDP growth. The economy grew slightly faster in the July-to-September period at 4.73%, compared with a 4.67% growth rate in the second quarter.

Then, I hope that the Indonesia government's struggle to deliver the accelerated growth by creating better environment for investment would go hand in hand with the Australia government commitment to enhance the trade and investment relationship with Indonesia.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

I also would like to highlight the current position of Indonesia-Australia trade and investment development. The figure shows that Indonesia is Australia's 12th largest trading partners, with two-way trade valued at $15.7 billion in 2014 while the two-way investment valued at $9.6 billion. Indonesia is a major export market for Australian agricultural products, including beef and live cattle, wheat and sugar. In other side, Australia is the Indonesia significant export market for products such as crude and refined petroleum, heating and cooling equipment & parts.

I believe that this figure will significantly increase in the future as there would be a huge opportunity for commercial partnerships in the future between Indonesia and Australia. As might be reflected from the discussion among the members of the panel session: Pak Mahendra Siregar, Pak Franciscus Welireng,  Leonie Lethbridge and Mr Bruce Gosper, those partnership would likely be in sectors such as banking and finance, IT and Communication, mining and engineering, and also in other sectors like tourism and hospitality, education and healthcare.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

As I speak on behalf of APINDO, I also want to appreciate the commitment of Australian government in supporting Indonesia business society especially for the cooperation with APINDO in establishing Indonesia Service Dialogue (ISD), a forum for business in service sectors. The full support from Australian Government through Australia Indonesia Partnership for Economic Governance (AIPEG) in the establishment of ISD is important as this leading forum has crucial role in facilitating policies dialogue among government, business, and academician. This cooperation indicates that there has been a room for non-commercial cooperation.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

For closing my remarks, I would like to share my view on the regard how my respective business association would like to work with Australian business in the future. In APINDO, we already initiated an institution called International Partnership Service Centre (IPSC) to facilitate domestic and foreign companies for strategic networking, business matching programs, and accelerating trade and investment process. I hope that the IPSC could help in enhancing the strategic business relation between Indonesia and Australia. Besides that,  I also hope that in the future there would be more room for non-commercial cooperation, especially in skills development of Indonesian workforce as we know that the low skill of Indonesia labor force is one of the major issue that hinder business development in Indonesia. Thank you.

Nov 17 2015 |