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Kadin and Missouri Entrepreneurs Sign Infrastructure Cooperation (1-17-12 Indonesia Infrastructure Initiative)

JAKARTA - The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with a delegation of entrepreneurs from Missouri, United States (U.S.), in Jakarta yesterday. The cooperation covers various fields of development in Indonesia, with one of the focuses being infrastructure.

The event was attended by the head of delegation, Missouri Senator, Kit Bond, and Chairman of Kadin Indonesia, Suryo Bambang Sulisto. The MoU also involves the World Trade Center (WTC) of St. Louis, which was represented by its Executive Director, Tim Nowak.

Lippo Group Director, John Riady, who opened the signing ceremony, said that Indonesia is a country suitable for investment. The cooperation is expected to generate positive impacts economically on both sides.

He assessed that, with economic growth of 6.5 percent in 2011, Indonesia is quite good from an economic standpoint. "When speaking of global [picture], we are definitely talking about Asia. When talking about Asia, we must also talk about Asean. When speaking of Asean, of course there is Indonesia there," he said in Jakarta on Monday (16 January).

In addition to the highest economic growth in ASEAN, Indonesia has recorded the lowest inflation rate in the Asia Pacific region, namely at about 3.79 percent. Indonesian exports are also quite large, reaching US$ 200 billion in 2011. Similarly with John, Vice Chairman of Kadin, Shinta Kamdani, said that the investment climate in Indonesia has been good. She is optimistic that foreign investors coming to Indonesia will grow in number.

Must Work Hard
Deputy Chief of Mission of the Embassy of the United States of America, Ted Osius, said that there are many factors affecting investors in making investments in Indonesia. He assessed that one of the most decisive factors is adequate infrastructure.

According to him, Indonesia still has to work hard on infrastructure development, in order to attract foreign investors. "In addition to good economic growth, investors will see the existing infrastructure in the country," he said.

Meanwhile, Tim Nowak welcomed such a cooperation. He hoped that the MoU will encourage Indonesia to continue to perform better in building infrastructure, which will as well serve as investment facilities.

He explained that St. Louis is one of the industrial centres in the U.S., with primary commodities from the agrarian field. He hoped that the MoU will be a connecting bridge between the U.S. and the Republic of Indonesia, so that more American investors will invest in Indonesia.

He also hoped that both sides will benefit from such a cooperation. "I hope, we could also benefit from the presence of this MoU. I hope it is not just us who benefit from it, but Indonesia also can take direct advantage," he said.

John argued that the Indonesian economy has the potential to grow like China and India. The population of Indonesia, which has recorded a figure of 240 million people, is a huge market potential. "Indonesia is a country with the fourth largest population in the world," he said.

Moreover, he considered, Indonesia has increased public education with its budget accoutnign for 20 percent of the total state budget (APBN). This provides positive effects on the investment climate in the country. (m04)



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