By Chelsea West
Singapore firms that have made major investments in Indonesia of late include Ascendas, CapitaLand, Keppel Land and Sembcorp while SMEs like Tat Wai, Cyclect, Flagship Ecosystems and Love, Bonito have partnered with local Indonesian firms to gain access to the market.
Three of the programme's participants yesterday received their certificates in the presence of President Tony Tan Keng Yam and Indonesian President Joko Widodo.
Cameron highlighted Britain's 15 billion pound Crossrail project, that will connect Heathrow airport west of London to the county of Essex in the east, through 42 km (26 miles) of new tunnels, as an example of the expertise it can bring to Indonesia's traffic-clogged capital. "This issue has been discussed during limited meetings", Joko said.
However, UK trade and investment minister Francis Maude, said that businesses had their concerns about tariffs on imported products in Indonesia and also about non-tariff barriers. "In the investment sector, Indonesia hopes to see a diversification of Singaporean investment in Indonesia, including in agribusiness, transportation, communication and energy".
Foreign direct investment (FDI) remains a rare bright spot for Indonesia with FDI in the second quarter up 18.2 percent from a year ago, its fastest pace since 2013.
Singapore has been one of Indonesia's top trading partners and investors, and Indonesia has been an attractive destination for Singapore companies.
As said by the minister, Indonesia and China have proposed to expand two-way trade and mutual visits to reach targets of US$150 billion and 10 million, respectively, before 2020.
An estimated 500 Indonesians have reportedly joined the Islamic State group.
"So today, I am very happy to have witnessed the signing of the MOUs... because these will add more dimensions to our ties and draw us closer together", he said.
"We only have to look to history to prove that those who come early will be the ones who will reap great profit", said Mr Joko, driving home the point of opportunity in crisis at a Singapore-Indonesia Business Dialogue on Tuesday held in conjunction with the statesman's first official state visit here.
During his visit, Widodo and his wife Iriana Joko Widodo will also attend an orchid-naming ceremony at the Singapore Botanical Gardens where an orchid, Dendrobium Iriana Jokowi, will be named after them.