Indonesian politicians and business experts, along with their Japanese counterparts, discussed investment opportunities in Southeast Asia’s most populous country at a recent symposium in Tokyo.
The “Indonesian Business Forum,” was organized by the ASEAN-Japan Centre, the Indonesian Embassy and the Investment Coordinating Board of the Republic of Indonesia. Hundreds of attendees, mainly Japanese doing business in Indonesia, packed the venue.
The Indonesian economy has been steadily growing and Japanese investment into the country has been increasing rapidly. Japanese companies view the country not only as a production center, but also as its people gain wealth, as one of the largest markets.
Following a greeting by ASEAN-Japan Centre Secretary General Yoshikuni Onishi, Indonesian Ambassador to Japan Yusron Mahendra, newly appointed last month, made his remarks.
“Indonesia and Japan have enjoyed an amicable, long-term relationship. Our relationship has brought both countries enormous benefit,” said the ambassdor, a long-term resident of Japan who studied at Tsukuba University in Ibaraki Prefecture.
Following the ambassador’s speech, Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board Chairman Mahendra Siregar explained Indonesia’s economic conditions and prospects to the audience.
The largest economy of ASEAN’s 10 member states, Indonesia was the third largest investment destination in Asia, after China and India, Siregar said, citing The Economist magazine. Capital expenditure has been growing rapidly, rising 27.3 percent to $42.2 billion in 2013 from $34.8 billion in 2012.
Japan’s direct investment into Indonesia soared 92 percent from the previous year to $4.71 billion in 2013, surpassing Singapore, which had been the biggest investor from 2009 to 2012, as the largest investor in. 2012.
Indonesia will continue to open its markets and work to promote ways to make it easier for Japan to invest in Indonesia, he said.
“We shouldn’t be satisfied with the 92 percent increase. We need to improve infrastructure, overall legal certainty and many other things. We still have lots of homework,” Siregar said.
After Siregar spoke, Yuri Sato, director general of Area Studies Center, Institute of Developing Economies, Japan External Trade Organization, delivered a presentation, “The Prospects of Japan-Indonesia Business and Economic Relations.”
The symposium closed with a panel discussion by experts from both countries.
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