Foreign Insight: Indonesia: Canadian Point of View

(Business Lounge Journal – Foreign Insight)

I’m very impress with the quality of the cabinet assembled by President Jokowi and the senior leadership particularly the economic side I think. The infrastructure you see being build here in Jakarta is impressive, it’s necessary. The ambitiousness the hosting the Asean Games next year, the ambitiousness of hosting the World Bank IMF meeting in Bali next October.

BL: Business Lounge Journal

PM: Peter MacArthur

BL: You told me a little bit about coffee, if you don’t mind I am asking, how do you like your coffee?

PM: One of them attraction of Indonesia is strong coffee, I always like strong coffee. And you have tremendous variety of coffees. When I was first came to Indonesia back in the fall last year, just for within a week my friend were emailing me say, ah Starbuck Canada which now advertising in Canada, replicate Indonesian coffee. So this is as I say good sign that Indonesia is picking up as key export on cultural products and apparel products and other items including furniture. You know, there’s Canadian furniture company in Semarang that’s expanding. It’s been there for many years employed 300 people and all the furniture exported to Canada. So, but getting back to coffee, yes, I enjoy not just the coffee, but your long availability of fresh food that the country like Canada with winters is not common. So, I find the Indonesian cuisine wonderful. And, I also find my element here Indonesia people to be both friendly and engaging and interested in Canada and we of course reciprocate out Interest in Indonesia.

BL: What do you think about the political situation in Indonesia? How will it affected our relationship especially the business relationship?

PM: I’m very impress with the quality of the cabinet assembled by President Jokowi and the senior leadership particularly the economic side I think. The infrastructure you see being build here in Jakarta is impressive, it’s necessary. The ambitiousness the hosting the Asean Games next year, the ambitiousness of hosting the World Bank IMF meeting in Bali next October. You know, not enough people in Canada and around the world realized that 30% of Indonesian cabinet of ministers is female. What other countries in Asia or yet around the world can say that there are female ministers, powerful ministers, finance and foreign affairs and SOE’s, very capable of ministers, very impressive ministers that the President has been able to assemble some very strong political leadership in order to press forward with economic reforms and to maintain the unity in diversity motto which Canada shares with Indonesia is one of the attraction.

We do believe that the more different you are the stronger you are, differences make us stronger. One reason that Prime Minister Trudeau and the government was very happy to our refugee policy except 40,000 Syrian refugees and that continue to grows. Many this Syrian refugees are being sponsor by Canadian families. Some of these families are immigrant himself or children immigrant. The new minister of immigration and refugees government of Canada at the age of 16 left Somalia as a refugee and today his the minister. So there are severely interesting areas where we share common interest and we do see Indonesia and Canada standing together as model for the world to show that diversity, that different ethnic group, different languages, different religions can live in harmony together. And, as a result generate prosperity and peace and just a great lifestyle. So, this is something that Indonesia should be very proud of. And one of our goal is to see Indonesia and Canada at United Nation in earlier for provide some models just through our action and how we operate for other countries particularly countries that are early on their development such as Myanmar for example. And I have to say that the government of Indonesia has been very helpful, your foreign minister in particular in helping Myanmar is very early days as a new democracy try to manage some internal pressures which of course Indonesia that’s was about end which we too in Canada. We’ve had national unity issues in the past and we have advert indigenous peoples in Canada which we are trying to help develop and the government of Canada the Prime Minister has said our indigenous peoples are top priority in term of domestic development. More countries probably–. That’s really, really interesting about 2017 is that the sustainable development goals of United Nations applies to all countries including advance so called developed country such as Canada. And it’s making us accountable to win in Canada improve. So you know we have peace keepers standing together. Indonesian and Canadian peace keepers are out working together in places like Haiti, places like South Sudan, and we expect to see more both our governments wants to step up peace keeping. There’s other of join interest. The good news is that Canada has been training many Indonesian military and police over the years. And this is something that we continue to do and in fact we probably would be in touch in the future.

BL: What’s your favourite in Indonesia?

PM: As I said earlier I find the people very engaging, happy, and easy to get along with. Curious. I also find the  scenery to be spectacular. And I was just talking about Bali and Lombok. I’ve seen picture of Raja Empat, and Ambon and west Papua. So I’ve been able to get to far every 17,000 islands. I’ve been to Java of course, Sulawesi, Lombok and Bali. But really coming here I expect to get to Sumatera, Kalimantan, and West Papua. I’ve had great pleasure I must say visiting some of the United Nation UNESCO heritage site, Borobudur and Prambanan in Central Java which are outstanding. Took my family there and we very much enjoy the learning about history and culture of this magnificent country. The beaches, the forest are quite extraordinary. But it’s mainly the people and I have to say we are very well  in term of meeting with senior official of the government. I think that I have no complain on that regard. I do appreciate the fact that I don’t have to shovel snow for half the year. Or worry about putting the heavy clothing to heavy boot to get to through the snow and ice. I find, I have to say the, like today this tropical thunder storm quite remarkable. I mean they are quite substantial. I never heard them like it. This is so close to the equator.

Business Lounge Journal/VMN/BL

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