24 October 2015
The key highlight of Indonesian President Joko Widodo’s maiden visit to the United States will be the meeting with his American counterpart.
This is because, like Mr Barack Obama, Indonesia’s seventh head of state campaigned strongly on a theme of change during the presidential election last year.
However, at the top of Mr Joko’s agenda will be to convince corporate America that Indonesia is open for business and can be a massive new market, especially for tech firms hungry for an alternative to China.
His chief of staff Teten Masduki told The Straits Times on Wednesday that Indonesia is serious about driving its under-achieving economy forward and the key to doing so is to attract foreign investments.
… Associate Professor Leonard Sebastian of the S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS) noted that Mr Joko’s visit comes at a time when Indonesia’s economic growth slipped to a six-year low in the second quarter and its currency, the rupiah, fell to the weakest level against the US dollar in 17 years, levels not seen since the Asian financial crisis.
“This means that a requirement to foster deeper business linkages and the need for greater US investment in Indonesia will dominate his agenda. He will aim to reassure US investors that Indonesia will not be protectionist and remains open for business,” said Prof Sebastian, who coordinates RSIS’ Indonesia programme and is an author of several Indonesia-centric publications.
GPO / IDSS / Online / Print
Last updated on 13/11/2015