Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia is on the path to becoming a developed and prosperous country, according to US Ambassador to Indonesia Joseph R. Donovan Jr.

"Currently, Indonesia is progressing towards an open, prosperous economy. The year 2019 will be a major milestone for both our countries, as we will mark the 70th anniversary of US-Indonesia diplomatic relations," Donovan Jr. stated at the US-Indonesia Investment Summit 2018 here on Thursday.

This year-long celebration will offer an opportunity to not only highlight our past achievements but to also look forward to the next seven decades of US-Indonesia ties.

"In the years to come, we aim to strengthen our relationship based on the foundation of our shared belief in democracy, respect for human rights, and the promotion of peace, stability, and economic prosperity," he stated.

Just before visiting Jakarta to meet with President Joko Widodo in August, Secretary of State Pompeo announced the US government`s strategy for economic engagement with this region at the Indo-Pacific Business Forum in Washington, D.C.

"It was no accident that the US Chamber of Commerce hosted that forum, which, similar to today`s US-Indonesia Investment Summit, underscored the importance of the private sector in fueling growth and commercial engagement that benefits both the United States and the Indo-Pacific region," the ambassador remarked.

As part of his remarks, Secretary Pompeo noted the foundational, facilitating role that the United States played in enabling the growth, development, and wealth we witness across this region today.

He further noted that private sector trade, investment, and business engagement is at the center of this success, emphasizing the point that facilitating this engagement in Indonesia was one of his key goals as the US ambassador here.

"Indonesia`s history since the reform era has been a story of great social and economic progress, and the United States is proud of the ways in which we have contributed to that success. This progress is something we see every day around us but sometimes take for granted. Just think of the contrast between Indonesia`s current situation and the not so distant past," he noted.

He cited that two decades ago, poverty had afflicted almost 25 percent of Indonesians. Today, the poverty rate is less than 10 percent, the lowest level in Indonesia`s history.

"Some 20 years ago, fewer than one million Indonesians, less than one percent of the population, had used the internet. Today, Indonesia is fast becoming a crossroad for the digital economy, with new private projects and public-private partnerships, such as the Palapa Ring, bringing internet access to more than half of the country, of over 143 million people, according to the Indonesian Association of Internet Service Providers," he stated.

Some two decades ago, no city in Indonesia had a modern mass transportation system, and Jakarta was among the largest cities in the world without a subway.

"Today, we can see the signs of progress, as MRT entrances and elevated rail tracks spring up along Jakarta`s main thoroughfares," he pointed out.

On these and several other measures, Indonesia has shown a record of success in development.

Of course, there is much yet to be done, but there is also undoubtedly much for Indonesia to be proud of. US companies can also be proud of the role they have played as partners in this success.

Editting by Yoseph Hariyadi

Reporter: Azis Kurmala
Editor: Andi Abdussalam
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