Indonesia offers Malaysian businessmen wider cooperation

Kuala Lumpur (Antara News) - Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono here on Monday offered Malaysian businessmen wider, fairer and mutually beneficial cooperation.

He made the offer at a meeting with dozens of Malaysian businessmen grouped in the Malaysia-Indonesia Business Council, which was also attended by Indonesian businessmen.

On the occasion the president also conveyed his Indonesia`s appreciation to Malaysian businessmen who had made a contribution to the Indonesian economic development.

"Many Malaysian businessmen were still doing business in Indonesia while the country was facing a crisis some years ago. This shows how close the relations are between the two countries, which hopefully could be increased further," he said.

He said trade between the two countries continued to increase. Indonesia`s exports to Malaysia reached US$2.7 billion in 2001 and rose drastically to US$7.3 billion in 2006.

Malaysia has also been the Asian biggest investor in Indonesia with a total investment of US$2.2 billion, he said.

In view of these facts, he believed that the meetings between Indonesian and Malaysian businessmen were very good for identifying opportunities and potentials for the two countries to cooperate to create bigger mutual benefits.

He said Indonesia would in the future develop its domestic market and like other members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) it would also promote exports to improve the country`s economy.

The Indonesian president also reiterated the progress that had been made by the country in the field of economy in the past few years.

"We hope this year`s economic growth could reach 6.3 percent. Certainly we still have yet to work harder to further improve the economy and to make investment climate in the country increasingly conducive," he said referring to the constant improvement or renewal of the laws in Indonesia.

The chairman of the Indonesia-Malaysia Business Council, Ahmad Sarji, on the occasion thanked the Indonesian government for extending the plantation land lease from 30 to 60 years and relaxed regulations on the palmoil business in the country.

Several Malaysian businessmen on the occasion had raised a number of questions such as on licensing, infrastructure in the regions and banking cooperation.

In response President Yudhoyono said he hoped licensing problem could be settled following the improvement of the relevant law.

Regarding infrastrucure facilities in the region, he said the government was committed to developing infrastructure in various sectors in the regions.(*)
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