We have to make our country attractive in the eyes of foreign investors, but we also have to learn from each other so that it doesn’t become a place for money laundering.
Jakarta (ANTARA) - In their efforts to attract foreign investors such as shortening bureaucratic processes for opening businesses, Asian and African nations must not let convenience be misused for crime, a senior Indonesian official has said.

Director general of general legal administration at the Ministry of Law and Human Rights (Kemenkumham), Cahyo R. Muzhar, made the remarks while reading out the statement of the Minister of Law and Human Rights, Yasonna Laoly, at the annual meeting of the Asian-African Legal Consultative Organization (AALCO) in Nusa Dua, Bali.

“Countries in Asia and Africa must ensure ease of doing business. This will certainly attract the interest of foreign investors. However, we must ensure that the system and business entities are not misused for criminal activities, so making it easier for businesses must also provide balanced security," he expounded, according to a statement released in Jakarta on Tuesday.

He delivered the remarks during a session on “Investing in Indonesia: Strengthening the Legal Regime and Infrastructure to Support the Business Environment, and to Ensure Legal Certainty in the Settlement of Disputes,” which was held as a part of AALCO’s activities.

AALCO is a consultation forum for Asian and African countries to equalize perceptions and positions on legal issues in order to reach a common stance that can be conveyed at various international meetings, including the United Nations (UN).

Countries in Asia and Africa must ensure that the business facilities implemented are not misused for money laundering practices, he added.

“We have to make our country attractive in the eyes of foreign investors, but we also have to learn from each other so that it doesn’t become a place for money laundering,” Muzhar said.

He also emphasized that AALCO members must implement the agreed-upon international laws. As the host, Indonesia has proposed the formation of an Asset Recovery Forum for AALCO members besieged by criminal acts of corruption and money laundering.

It is hoped that the forum will consist of parties who are experienced and competent in seizing assets from foreign jurisdictions.

A total of 47 AALCO members attended the AALCO annual meeting besides 2 permanent observer countries, (Australia and New Zealand), 3 non-permanent observer countries, (Tunis, Zambia, and Russia), as well as 8 international organizations.

Ambassadors of AALCO members were also present at the opening of AALCO's 61st Annual Meeting, which began on October 16, 2023, and ends on October 20.

Discussions on several current issues will be carried out during a closed session of AALCO members. The main issues that will be discussed at the annual meeting include maritime law, issues related to the situation in Palestine, environmental issues and sustainable development, international trade and investment law, and legal issues in outer space, including conveying AALCO’s views on the issues being discussed by the UN International Law Commission (ILC).

AALCO, which was founded in 1956, is an international cooperation forum that provides support to its 47 member countries in legal issues. The institution has made a major contribution to the economic development of the Asia-Africa region, including Indonesia, which is the largest economic power in Southeast Asia.

Apart from meetings between country members, which will discuss international legal issues, such as maritime law, environmental law, asset recovery, and international trade law, Indonesia, as the host of the 61st AALCO Annual Meeting, has initiated the holding of the Asset Recovery Forum, International Humanitarian side event, Law Discussion Forum, and Business and Investment Forum.

The Business and Investment Forum will include youth forum sessions, panel discussions, business, and an MSME expo, as well as a series of discussions where young people will discuss issues surrounding legal infrastructure and the business world, especially the development of MSMEs.

Through the Business and Investment Forum, it is hoped that Indonesia can promote legal developments in the business world and bridge the information gap between policy makers and business actors.

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Translator: Ahmad Wijaya, Cindy Frishanti Octavia
Editor: Tia Mutiasari
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