Mon, 09 Jun 2008
From: The Jakarta Post
By The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
A number of organizations in the country have come out in support of the United States' decision to lift its travel warning for Indonesia, and hope the policy reversal will benefit trade between the countries.

During a recent press conference, the Indonesia-United States Committee (KIKAS) and the American Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia (AmCham) said direct, personal contact between business people from the two nations was key to strengthening existing commercial relations and encouraging new investment and trade.

"This action by the U.S. will be good for business in Indonesia. It will help bring more American investment and help achieve our development goals." said KIKAS chairman Sofjan Wanandi.

The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce also hailed the decision.

The U.S. Department of State revoked on May 23 its notorious travel warning for Indonesia, enabling U.S. business executives to travel to Indonesia.

"It will increase the number of business people traveling to Indonesia and result in greater U.S. investment." said AmCham Indonesia president Joe Bartlett.

The business lobby groups said the lifting would lead to an increased U.S. investment, which in 2006 stood at US$10.6 billion.

They also said it would facilitate Indonesian exports to the U.S. as buyers and sellers were able to meet more easily.

The U.S. is Indonesia's 3rd largest export market, with $14.3 billion in merchandise shipped in 2007, of which apparel products contributed the most. In the same year, the U.S. exported $4.2 billion in merchandise to Indonesia.

KIKAS and AmCham said they hoped the Indonesian government would immediately capitalize by increasing efforts to improve direct investment regulations, streamline import and export procedures and continue legal and judicial reform.



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