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Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker Leads High Level U.S.-Indonesia Commercial Dialogue Meeting

Monday, October 7, 2013

U.S. Secretary of Commerce Penny Pritzker and Republic of Indonesia Finance Minister Chatib Basri on October 5 led a high-level meeting of American and Indonesian business leaders as part of the U.S.-Indonesia Commercial Dialogue. Secretary Pritzker’s Commercial Dialogue Summit meeting brought together more than 15 CEO’s of top American and Indonesian firms engaged in business across a broad range of sectors including oil and gas, commodities, information technology, banking, healthcare and aviation. This was the first time the U.S. Secretary of Commerce has participated in a meeting of the Commercial Dialogue, and the meeting focused on ways in which the U.S. and Indonesian private sectors can better collaborate to encourage growth moving forward.

"I believe that there is great potential for our two countries to do more business together," said Secretary Pritzker. "Our bilateral trade last year grew to more than $26 billion, but we can do much more. We have seen many American companies enter the Indonesian market in recent years, and we know that we have vast opportunities to bring more trade, investment and prosperity to both of our countries. We need the input of private sector leaders to take our partnerships to a higher level, and I look forward to working together to strengthen the commercial relationship between the U.S. and Indonesia."

During the session, private sector business leaders exchanged views on building bilateral commercial relations and deepening economic ties between the world’s third and fourth most populous countries. While two-way trade already exceeds $26 billion, leaders from both sides agreed that more regular business forums and trade programs are needed to expand bilateral trade and investment. As part of the world's fastest-growing region, Indonesia presents tremendous opportunities for U.S. businesses to sell goods and services as well as their expertise.

Indonesia has built a record of strong economic growth over the past decade and now ranks as the world’s 16th largest economy. One of the world’s major exporters of a number of minerals, commodities and marine products, Indonesia is home to a rapidly growing consumer population that has spurred significant urban expansion across its vast 2400-mile wide archipelago. A number of economic studies project Indonesia to become one of the world’s top ten economies by 2030.

Among the CEO level attendees were the heads of the U.S. and Indonesian Chambers of Commerce, Mr. Tom Donohue, President of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and Mr. Suryo Bambang Sulisto, Chairman of the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN). They pledged to work together with their delegations to provide a set of joint private sector recommendations to the U.S. and Indonesian governments on steps to enhance bilateral commercial growth.  Secretary Pritzker is in Indonesia for the 2013 APEC Summit.  Throughout her trip she is meeting with various private sector leaders as well as many of her APEC counterparts.

Launched in November 2011 at the APEC Leaders meeting in Hawaii, the Commercial Dialogue is the leading bilateral business forum for U.S. and Indonesian business leaders. It is one part of the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership that was jointly initiated by President Obama and Indonesian President Yudhoyono during his visit to Jakarta in November 2010.