PM Cameron in Indonesia to open doors for future trade

PM Cameron in Indonesia to open doors for future trade

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) with UK Prime Minister David Cameron (left) at Merdeka Palace, Jakarta, Monday (July 27, 2015). (ANTARA/Widodo S. Jusuf)

Indonesia is committed to improving cooperation with the British."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - British Prime Minister David Cameron accompanied by a trade delegation comprising 31 business leaders has chosen Indonesia as the first stop of a 4-day trade mission that will include visits to Malaysia, Singapore, and Vietnam.

The trip aims to open doors to future trade, as deals worth over 750 million will be inked, and 270 new jobs will be created across the United Kingdom this week.

"As part of the governments efforts to increase the United Kingdoms yearly exports to 1 trillion and to get 100 thousand more UK companies exporting by 2020, the prime minister is taking the first trade mission of the new Parliament to a region forecast to grow at 5 percent this year and with the potential to unlock huge opportunities for jobs and growth in the United Kingdom," according to the British prime ministers office in a press release published on www.gov.uk on July 27, 2015.

Upon his arrival in Jakarta on July 27, 2015, Cameron and President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) held a bilateral meeting to discuss economic cooperation, which was described by the prime minister as productive.

During the meeting, President Jokowi stated that trade cooperation can be further developed if the import duty levied on Indonesian goods, such as timber, coffee, and fisheries products is reduced.

"Indonesia is committed to improving cooperation with the British," the president affirmed.

Cameron agreed that cooperation between the United Kingdom and Indonesia in various fields holds immense potential for both sides and should be further developed, including in the field of creative industries.

"As discussed earlier, it is important for us to increase trade cooperation with Indonesia and other ASEAN nations," Cameron remarked.

The UK government will make available up to 1 billion to finance infrastructure projects in Indonesia through its export guarantee scheme, which could pave the path for growth of 200 million worth of exports to the United Kingdom.

Projects up for grabs include a sewage treatment system in Jakarta worth 400 million and geothermal power projects worth 66 million, according to the prime ministers office.

Britain is a leading investor in Indonesia. In April 2012, the two governments announced a commitment to double bilateral trade to 4.4 billion by 2015.

To boost trade and investment cooperation with Indonesia, some 30 British business leaders grouped in the UK-ASEAN Business Council are accompanying Cameron during the visit.

The British business leaders were keen to gain firsthand information about President Jokowis maritime concept and infrastructure development plans as well as the countrys Public and Private Partnership mechanism, British Ambassador to Indonesia Moazzam Malik noted during a press briefing at the British embassy in Jakarta, on July 26, 2015.

The business leaders represent ACE Winches, Airbus Group UK, Arup, AT Engine Controls, Atkins, Aviva, Bango, Benoy, Blockchain, Concrete Canvas, Darktrace, EarthPort, FreshMinds, Heraeus Noblelight, and Iwoca, among others.

The trade delegation also comprises CEOs from JCB, Jardines, Laing ORourke, Lloyds of London, Oxford Products, Pennies, Qubit, RateSetter, RepKnight, Rolls-Royce, Surrey Satellite Technology, The Floow, UK Higher Education International Unit, Weir Group, and Wessington Cryogenics.

Deputy of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Azhar Lubis informed the press that he will welcome the investment commitments planned to be delivered during the prime ministers visit.

"They (the British) had entered Indonesia through the pharmaceutical industry. We hope that they are able to enter the power plant sector in the future, in accordance with our priority projects," Lubis stated.

He noted that the United Kingdom had since long expressed interest in investing in the management and provision of drinking water in Indonesia.

"But they are still awaiting a revised regulation on water resources," he pointed out.

However, Lubis confirmed that the BKPM will promote the sectors that were prioritized by the government to support the economy, such as infrastructure, maritime affairs, tourism, agriculture, and industries. The government is paying special attention to labor-intensive industries, export-oriented products, and import substitution.

According to data from the investment board, Britain comes seventh among the top investing countries in Indonesia, with investment realization during the first half of 2015 amounting to US$424.93 million in 109 projects.

Following bilateral talks, President Jokowi and Prime Minister Cameron witnessed the signing of four agreements between the Indonesian and British governments.

The four memoranda of understanding (MoUs) are on maritime, prevention of terrorism and transnational crimes, research and innovation, and in aviation and national space. The cooperation agreements signed between the two countries would benefit both sides.

The United Kingdom and Indonesia have agreed on implementing measures to counter the "shared enemy" of Islamic State (IS) extremism, PM Cameron stated as reported by BBC.

Cameron made assurance that the United Kingdom will assist in increasing security at airports in Bali and Jakarta, and about 50 Indonesian police officers will be trained in counterterrorism techniques in the United Kingdom.

Speaking at the presidential palace in Jakarta, Cameron affirmed that IS posed an "evil threat" to both nations.

"We have agreed to step up our joint efforts both to tackle the terrorism threat and to counter the extremist narrative," Cameron was quoted as saying by BBC.
(Uu.F001/INE/KR-BSR/A014)

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