Wed, 03 Aug 1994

Clinton assistant here for Jakarta-Arkansas synergy

JAKARTA (JP): An assistant to President Bill Clinton paid a courtesy call to President Soeharto yesterday evening during which he discussed the progress of the sister state relationship between the U.S. state of Arkansas and Jakarta.

"I'm here in a personal capacity to discuss the sister state relationship between Jakarta and Arkansas," said Mark Grobmyer after meeting with President Soeharto at his residence on Jl. Cendana, Central Jakarta.

Accompanied by Jakarta Governor Surjadi Soedirdja, Grobmyer said that Arkansas was looking at potential areas of cooperation with Jakarta in the economic, banking, electronic and cultural fields.

Governor Surjadi and Governor Jim Tucker in Seattle last November signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing sister state relations between Jakarta and Arkansas. The signing of the MOU was witnessed by both Soeharto and Clinton who was governor of Arkansas prior to his election as president.

"My main objective in coming to Indonesia is to meet with the Governor of Jakarta and further discuss cooperation between Jakarta and Arkansas," Grobmyer explained.

"The two have many opportunities in many areas, among them business, investment and education," he said.

At present cooperation arrangements exist between the Harapan Kita hospital and a children's hospital in Arkansas and research work between the faculties of medicine at the University of Indonesia and the University of Arkansas.

Governor Surjadi also asserted the importance of the cooperation saying, "Jakarta is looking for opportunities, and one of those opportunities is Arkansas."

Speaking to reporters, Grobmyer denied that he brought any special message from President Clinton since his visit here is strictly in a private capacity. (mds)