President asks private sector of New Zealand to invest in Indonesia

Jakarta (Antara News) - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono has invited investors of New Zealand to operate in Indonesia now that the investment and business climate in this world`s largest archipelagic country has become favorable.

"The investment cooperation between two countries has been declining, so that the involvement of the private sectors of the two countries would be necessary," the president said in a press conference after receiving New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Elizabeth Clard at the presidential palace here on Wednesday.

In his address, President Yudhoyono said he discussed bilateral cooperation between the two countries with Premier Helen Elizabeth.

The two countries agreed to enhance immigration cooperation and to overcome money laundering, Yudhoyono said.

The president also said the trade between two countries reached US$654 million in 2006. "In the past five years, the trade increased significantly by 23 percent per year."

Data from the Central Bureau of Statistics showed that total trade between the two countries reached US$654 million comprising US$320 million in exports and US$334 million in imports.

"Indonesia is the biggest destination of New Zealand`s exports to Southeast Asia, while Indonesia is the fourth biggest importer of New Zealand`s products and commodities," the president said.

New Zeland is a parliamentary democratic country with a population 4.09 million in 2005, and a per capita income of US$24,897.(*)
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