Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Indonesia which is less known to world businesses compared to China and India took the opportunity to build relations and expand business networks in the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Davos, Switzerland, last week.
"In term of investment, Davos is an extraordinary place for us to build networking because this forum is attended by more than 1,000 chief executive officers (CEO) from more than 1,000 companies," Trade Minister Mari Elka Pengestu said.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono directly led the Indonesian delegation to the WEF. He attended the world economic forum on January 27-28 which was held from January 26, 2011.
"The presence of the president in the WEF when world economic players meet there will give Indonesia a chance to introduce various progresses it has made, including justice-based economic development," Teuku Faizasyah, the presidential special staff for international relations, said before the Indonesian delegation departed to the forum last week.
During the forum, the Indonesian president was promoting Indonesia`s economic and investment potentials. "The more information they get about Indonesia the higher their desires to cooperate and partner with us. After all they came from advanced countries which could provide a lot of benefit for us," President Yudhoyono said after concluding his visit in that country on Saturday.
Many world businesses told the president that they had already investment in Indonesia and would increase it further and expand their businesses in the country. Many others who have not made their investment expressed their desires to come to Indonesia.
"I positively welcome them if they will really increase benefit for us," the president said.
Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said the president and ministers accompanying him made use of every opportunity during the event to introduce Indonesia and its economic potentials to world`s economic players.
The president`s delegation included Chief Economic Minister Hatta Radjasa, Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo, Trade Minister Mari Pangestu, Foreign Affairs Minister Marty Natalegawa and Investment Board chief Gita Wirjawan.
On the sidelines of the forum, Mari said she had had a meeting with delegates of Google and Collective Brand, US-based shoe retailers who expressed desires to make investment in Indonesia.
These world class businesses have sought specific information about investment and various other fields such market potentials in Indonesia, a country of more than 230 million people.
She said that at present Indonesia had improved its investment climate through various regulations and transparent polices. This is proven by the increase in Indonesia`s rating from 54 to 44 in the Global Competitive Index issued by the WEF.
The trade minister said one sector which was still considered not yet improving was the infrastructure, yet this was a sector that could be seen as an opportunity for the business world.
Indonesia`s infrastructure development reaches Rp280 trillion annually. It is expected to reach Rp1,400 trillion in the 2010 – 2014 period. The government is only able to finance about 30 percent of the infrastructure business potentials.
For this purpose, Indonesia needs to continue promoting its investment potentials abroad. So far, Indonesia is still less known to business world compared with China and India.
"I met with international business community this morning. They said that Indonesia was not yet popularly known like India and China. The international business community said they had not yet been well-informed of Indonesia," President Yudhoyono told a press conference at Radisson Hotel, Zurich, Switzerland, and Saturday evening.
Now, the president said, the world business players have known that Indonesia`s economic growth is in the second rank in Asia after that of China and India, with increasingly bigger and strong economic capacity.
The president said that his presence in the WEF also carried a moral mission as the chair of ASEAN to explain to the world that Indonesia and the Southeast Asian region contributed to the economic development in Asia.
"As the ASEAN chair this year I have the moral responsibility to inform the world that Indonesia and ASEAN are in a region whose economy is thriving and deserves to partner with them," the president said.
Two-thirds of the world`s economic growth was fueled by the economies of ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) member countries. East Asia`s gross domestic product (GDP) is equal to Europe`s and the United States` 14.6 trillion US dollars.
According to Minister Mari E Pangestu, after attending the WEF`s 41st meeting, Indonesia will host the WEF on East Asia on June 12-13, 2011.
"We will take advantage of it because we will also host ASEAN Summit in October this year to put Indonesia in the role of leadership in ASEAN and East Asia region," Mari said.
She said that Indonesia will host the WEF East Asia so that they would come to Indonesia to see themselves the potentials of Indonesia.
President Yudhoyono said the WEF East Asia in Jakarta will bring many benefits to Indonesia where it will expand Indonesia network with world businesses and offer a chance to increase investment.
"Thus, Indonesia will play a role in building global cooperation networks. This is what exists in my mind. I hope this could be developed further for the interest of the nation," the president said.