Indonesia hopes to increase investment and trade with Netherlands

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia expects to increase investment and trade with the Netherlands, the countrys chief economic minister, Hatta Rajasa, has said.

"Going forward, it is hoped that trade and investment will double from their current levels of US$5.5 billion and US$1.3 billion, respectively," he noted at an Indonesia-Netherlands meeting here on Thursday, which was attended by visiting Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte.

Other Indonesian officials at the meeting were Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan, Agriculture Minister Suswono, head of the Investment Coordinating Board Mahendra Siregar and General Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Suryo Bambang Sulisto, as well as business executives from both countries.

Hatta said one of the issues discussed at the meeting was potential cooperation between the two countries in the fields of food and energy security and integrated coastal development management in Jakarta.

"We will work harder because this is a new opportunity, especially since we have reduced license procedures, increased transparency and provided incentives," he added.

He expressed the hope that Indonesia could become a marketing base for Dutch companies to enter Southeast Asia by 2015. Similarly, the Netherlands could become the base for Indonesian companies hoping to enter Europe.

"We want to become a single market. We hope that Indonesia can become the base for Dutch companies to enter the ASEAN market, and in turn, Rotterdam in the Netherlands can become our base to expand into the European market," he said.

Regarding Jakartas coastal development management, he said the Dutch government had expressed its intention to help and participate in the Great Sea Wall project, which is expected to start in 2014.

"We are cooperating with the Netherlands. We plan to carry out the project together. After the master plan is finished, we will offer it as a public-private cooperation project," he added.

In his current official visit to Indonesia aimed at increasing economic cooperation, Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte is leading a delegation of representatives from 110 companies, including Phillips and Friesland Campina.(*)