The National, Thursday June 20th, 2013
CHAMBERS of commerce from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea on Tuesday signed a landmark agreement in Jakarta to work together to promote growth of business in both countries.
The agreement was signed by Kadin (Indonesian chamber) chairman Suryo Bambang Sulisto, and PNG Chamber of Commerce and Industry president John Leahy at the first-ever Indonesia-Papua New Guinea business forum held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel in Jakarta.
The signing was witnessed by Prime Minister Peter O’Neill and Indonesian Minister for Industry Mohamad Suleman Hidayat, who gave kudos to both chambers for taking up the initiative to establish relationships.
Sulisto said both PNG and Indonesian economies had much in common.
“Our two countries show much in common,” he said.
‘We have similar economies, both blessed with extensive wealth and natural resources.
‘That’s why businesses are so important.
“Today, we are gathered to forge strong relationships between our business communities.
“I believe the signing of the MoU will open new opportunities for both countries.
“Our chamber and the PNG Chamber of Commerce and Industry will enter a new phase of cooperation today with the signing of the memorandum of understanding on cooperation, trade, and investment.
“Both chambers will be expected to exchange data and business information to promote trade and cooperation between the two countries.
“I believe the signing of the MOU will open new chances of cooperation between both countries.”
Leahy told the Indonesian business community that the PNG economy was booming and there was little chance of going wrong.
“You can now see 10 years of economic growth (in the PNG economy),” he told them.
“There’s a massive interest in hydrocarbons in PNG.
“Geothermal energy is another area where there is substantial interest.
“There’s more and more tuna processing in PNG.”
“There’s a lot of (mining) exploration going on at the border, and we envisage going into partnership with Indonesia.
“Agriculture is the backbone of PNG.
“There is a substantial need for investment.”