From The Jakarta Post

U.S. businesses upbeat about RI reforms

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta

A group of Singapore-based U.S. businesspeople have expressed confidence about the future outlook for Indonesia's economy due to its expanding market and the government's continuing economic reform measures.

The businesspeople, representing some 20 U.S. companies based in Singapore, met with local counterparts and economics ministers in Indonesia during their visit here to get first-hand information about business opportunities and the direction of economic reform in Indonesia.

"Indonesia is a very important country in the region, and it is an area with a lot of opportunities and interest for our members," said Amy M. Adams, chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in Singapore.

Such qualities, however, would not attract investment unless the government addressed various concerns raised by business, especially those concerning taxation, labor and customs -- three problematic areas that had made investing in Indonesia less attractive.

Adams noted that the government leaders they met during their visit appeared to be serious about reforming the taxation, labor and customs sectors.

"Things won't happen overnight, but as long as they have an ongoing commitment to reform, and progress is continuing to be made, that speaks very well for an enhanced investment climate here in Indonesia," she said.

On top of these reforms, the government also needed to take care of security issues, which often frightened off foreign businesses and tourists.

U.S. Ambassador to Singapore Patricia L. Herbold, who accompanied the visiting delegates, said the fact that Indonesia had the largest Muslim population in the world would not deter investors if the government could maintain order and security.
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