Key in Jakarta Hopes to Boost Exports

Prime Minister John Key and a 26-strong business delegation are in Jakarta for a three-day trade mission aimed at boosting New Zealand's non-agricultural exports such as aviation, tourism, education and geothermal energy.

Indonesia is expected to be the sixth largest economy in the world by 2030 and New Zealand is not the only country eyeing up opportunities.

British Prime Minister David Cameron visited just last week.

Mr. Key has said this means New Zealand's pitch has to be a good one, and his presence gives businesses the kudos they wouldn't have if they came to Indonesia alone. And his efforts seem to be paying off.

Yesterday, April 16, Indonesian airline Garuda signed a deal with Auckland International Airport to resume direct flights from Jakarta to Auckland.

The door to Indonesia opened for New Zealand in January when a free trade agreement between New Zealand, Australia and the Association of South East Asian Nations (Asean) signed in 2010 came into effect.

Indonesia is the fourth most populous country in the world, with almost 250 million people.

New Zealand businesses can be wary of dealing with Indonesia because of concerns about corruption and terrorism.

Corruption remains rife in Indonesia despite the fall of the Suharto regime in 1998 and businesses, including multinational companies, commonly regard bribes as another operating cost.

Mr. Key said Indonesia couldn't hide its well-documented history but the world had changed since the Suharto regime and Indonesia's record on human rights and corruption had vastly improved under President Yodhoyono.

"I don't think anyone is arguing it's totally resolved."


Source: Taranaki Newspapers Limited