Wed, 10 Aug 1994

Kadin pledges to take heed of green business

JAKARTA (JP): The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) yesterday pledged to pay greater attention to the preservation of the environment.

The chamber yesterday renewed an agreement with the Office of the State Minister of Environment for cooperation in a number of programs, which are designed to enhance the protection of the environment by businesses.

Kadin Chairman Aburizal Bakrie and Minister Sarwono Kusumaatmadja signed the new agreement at Kadin's headquarters in Central Jakarta.

"The history of several countries, including Indonesia, shows us that exploitation of natural resources that exceeds environmental supports has led to pollution and dramatic devastation," Bakrie said.

He said intense economic activities cannot continue, let alone become sustainable, if people fail to protect the environment.

"We do not want to pass environmental damage on to the next generation," he said.

The agreement revised the old one made by former Kadin chairman Sotion Ardjanggi and the then environmental minister Emil Salim.

It consists of clauses which require both parties to exchange information on the environment, jointly organize research and development to promote the sustainable development. Both parties will also develop the training programs for environmentally-sound business activities.

The agreement also consists of working programs such as environmental law, human resources development, environmental economy and environmentally-sound technology.

Sarwono said the time had come for the business community to change the traditional view that the environment is the business of non-government organizations and idealists. "Business, industry and trade have now become an integrated part of environmental awareness," he said.

The Minister said entrepreneurs now have no choice but to respect the environment because of the global pressure for the creation of sustainable natural resources and environmentally- sound business.

He said that a failure to protect the environment would damage the natural resources used for business activities which in turn would lead to a failure of economic development.


Sarwono said entrepreneurs who ignored environmental protection would lose their competitiveness and become "side walk vendors" in the international circle.

He said that it is up to the entrepreneurs to make the decision to improve their performance in term of environmental awareness.

Yesterday, Kadin also announced the 21st International Small Business Conference scheduled to take place in Jakarta from Sept. 18 to 21. The conference will be attended by more than 50 countries, including Canada, the United States, Brazil, Korea and the Netherlands.

President Soeharto is scheduled to open the conference at the Jakarta Hilton Convention Center in Central Jakarta, while Sarwono and Singapore's Deputy Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong will be among the keynote speakers. (par)