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Eurocham | EuroCham Launches 2013 Position Papers

On 20th February 2014, the European Chamber of Commerce (EuroCham) launched its Annual Position Papers at an event held at the Inter Continental Midplaza Hotel in Jakarta. These position papers cover a broad selection of topics ranging from infrastructure to intellectual property rights and put forward recommendations to improve upon Indonesia’s business climate for both local and European companies.

Central among these recommendations and a recurring theme in the 14 different position papers presented is the need for a further streamlining of Indonesia’s regulatory environment through enhanced coordination among Indonesian Ministries. Moreover, the papers also emphasise the importance of improving upon the degree to which all stakeholders, including foreign investors, are consulted in policy making processes to avoid legal uncertainties and unintended adverse outcomes. This recommendation is particularly poignant given the recent passing of Indonesia’s new trade law on 11th February 2014, which has in the past been criticised for its failure to take into account input from the international business community.

The 2013 Position Papers were written by EuroCham’s sectoral working groups that meet on a regular basis to discuss issues concerning their specific industries. From among the organisation’s 18 sectoral working groups, this year’s position papers were released by the Automotive, Cosmetics, Energy, Food & Beverages/Agriculture, Human Resources, Infrastructure, Intellectual Property Rights, Investment, Import-Export, Pharmaceutical, Property, Security, Taxation, and Transport & Logistics working groups.

Made available in English and Indonesian, the ultimate purpose of this publication as explained by Mr Jakob Friis Sorensen, Chairman of EuroCham Indonesia, is “to consolidate the perspective of European business on issues affecting Indonesia’s trade and investment climate” as well as to come up with concrete ideas on how to facilitate the growth and development of the Indonesian economy. Mr Sorensen added that it was EuroCham’s “aim to engage in proactive development to help Indonesia further seize its potential”.

This sentiment was echoed by Mr Colin Crooks, Deputy Head of the Delegation of the European Union to Indonesia, Brunei Darussalam and ASEAN, during his speech to the event’s distinguished guests, which in addition to members of the local and international business community included senior officials from the Coordinating Ministry of Economic Affairs and the Ministry of Energy. In his remarks, Mr Crooks explained that robust business to government dialogue has a positive role to play in Indonesia, much in the same way that it does in the EU. Touching upon the strengthening prospects for EU-Indonesia trade and investment in 2014, Mr Crooks also discussed the need for both parties to make progress in the Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement negotiations, as this would move relations between the two economies to a higher level and facilitate greater mutual benefits.

As is detailed by EuroCham’s Executive Summary of the 2013 Position Papers, other recommendations put forward by European businesses in Indonesia include:

  • Improving infrastructure, including power supply, and logistics networks to improve the movement of goods, reduce business costs and foster development;
  • Enabling an environment that strengthens national human resources while allowing access to highly specialised and skilled human resources to promote knowledge and technology transfer;
  • Further harmonising Indonesian National Standards (SNI) with other international standards and smoothing processes to avoid cost-induced price increases.

Eurocham - 2014

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Indonesia Snapshot

Capital: Jakarta
Population: 259 million (2016)
Currency: Indonesian Rupiah
Nominal GDP: $936 billion USD (IMF, 2016)
GDP Per Capita: $3,620 USD at Current Prices (IMF, 2016)
GDP Growth: 5.0% (2016)
External Debt: 36.80% of GDP (BI, Q2 2016)
Ease of Doing Business: 91/190 (WB, 2017)
Corruption Index: 90/176 (TI, 2016)