Thu, 13 Apr 2000

Sutiyoso briefs diplomats

JAKARTA (JP): In an effort to boost foreign investment in the capital, Governor Sutiyoso told 24 new Indonesian diplomats on Wednesday to help cultivate a positive image of Jakarta among the international community.

"Jakarta, as in other parts of the country, really needs foreign investment to help the economic recovery," he told the diplomats at City Hall.

The diplomats are undergoing an orientation program before departing for their respective destinations. Those included in the program are 10 ambassadors, one charge d'affaires, six consul generals and seven deputy chefs de mission.

The governor emphasized the importance of creating an image of Jakarta as a safe city that is favorable for investment.

"The problem is that we will always deal with residents working as street vendors and becak (pedicab) drivers.

"Yet the city administration will continue to uphold public order with new approaches to minimize conflict with residents," he said.

Sutiyoso recalled that several foreign ambassadors had met with him and threatened to leave the capital if security was not improved following the May 1998 riots.

The governor said he was confident Jakarta could attract investors and tourists if their security was guaranteed.

"We can promote Jakarta as long as we can improve the situation here," he said, adding the diplomats could also help promote the sister-city program in the cities in which they will reside.

The diplomats are slated to leave Indonesia by the end of April. Among them are East Timor prointegration leader F.X. Lopez da Cruz, who will serve as an ambassador to Greece; former Air Force chief of staff Air Marshall (ret) Sutria Tubagus, who will serve as an ambassador to Thailand; and former president Soeharto's English translator, Widodo Sutiyo, who will be dispatched to serve as an ambassador to the Vatican. (nvn)