Industry minister strengthens Indonesia-Switzerland cooperation

Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto has strived to strengthen the cooperation between Indonesia and Switzerland in the industry sector.

The cooperation show a significant growth since the establishment of the diplomatic relationship between the two countries in 1952.

“Switzerland has chosen Indonesia as one of the priority countries in economic cooperation, including partnership in the industry sector,” said Hartarto in a press conference in Jakarta, Tuesday.

In terms of capital investment, Switzerland placed Indonesia in the fourth place in the list of priority investment destination in Asia.

Ministry of Industry noted that in 2015 the value of Indonesia-Switzerland trade experienced a significant increase of 124 percent compared to the year prior as it reaches US$1.7 billion.

“Meanwhile, Indonesias export to Switzerland reached US$1.07 billion and Indonesias import from Switzerland reached US$0.63 billion,” he revealed.

In the future, the Minister is confident that the economic cooperation between the two countries will only get stronger as the Swiss government has stated their willingness to support Indonesia in the industry sector, especially Small and Medium Industries (SMIs), agriculture industry and the implementation of vocational education.

“Switzerland is one of the European countries with an advanced industry sector and Indonesia needs to learn about the usage of technology and the development of human resources for industrial purposes that are implemented by the country,” he said exuding optimism.

Hartarto also encourage Swiss businesspersons to invest more in Indonesia especially in the pharmacy, bio-energy and manufacturing sectors.

“This is one of the efforts to execute President Joko Widodos directives regarding industrial equalization in the regions outside of Java islands as well as border areas,” he added.

On the same occasion, the Industry Minister expressed his appreciation towards Swiss government and businesspersons who have been contributing to Indonesias industrial development.

“We will open partnership opportunities that will be beneficial for both parties,” he reiterated.

Similar statements were also made by Swiss Ambassador for Indonesia Yvonne Baumann who deliver his appreciation towards Indonesias government for establishing economic policy packages that ease the Swiss investors way to do business in Indonesia.

“Up until today some 150 Swiss corporations are operating in Indonesia, absorbing up to 60,000 local labor. We are hoping to continue to be business partners for the corporations in Indonesia,” he explained.

Yvonne admitted that Indonesia have an alluring market potentials due to its large number of citizens.

“It makes sense that a lot of countries are interested in establishing partnership (with Indonesia), including Switzerland,” he added.

Meanwhile, a spokesperson from the International Access Development in the Ministry Harjanto said that the economic cooperation between the two countries have been implemented in a number of sectors including cultivation, tourism, agriculture, education and aviation industries.

The bilateral relationship that continue to grow stronger is marked by the implementation of work initiatives that are beneficial for both parties.

“At the moment, Comprehensive Economic Partnership between Indonesia and Switzerland is being negotiated in the form of Indonesia and European Free Trade Association (EFTA), where Switzerland is a member,” he said.

The negotiation is compiled in a package named Indonesia-EFTA Comprehensive Partnership Agreement (IE-CEPA).

“We are hoping that the negotiation will go on smoothly and create economic benefits for both countries,” Harjanto concluded.

Source: Antara News