SBY visits Thailand, Singapore
JAKARTA: President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono began three days of official visits to Thailand and Singapore on Thursday, expecting to cut deals on trade and investment, part of an effort to reach 6.5 percent economic growth this year.
Yudhoyono’s first stop will be Bangkok for the World Economic Forum (WEF).
“Today’s event in Bangkok is very important given the current instability in the world economy. Investment and trade are important to sustain growth. Therefore, we will utilize these international forums to seek new opportunities to help us reach the 6.5 percent of economic growth target,” Yudhoyono told a press conference at the Halim Perdanakusuma Airport before departing for Bangkok.
Among the Cabinet members joining him for the trip are Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa, Coordinating Political, Legal and Security Affairs Minister Djoko Suyanto, Foreign Minister Marty Natalegawa and State Secretary Sudi Silalahi.
Yudhoyono is also expected to attend the 2012 World Economic Forum on East Asia (WEFEA), where he was slated to speak at its opening ceremony later on Thursday.
Klaus Schwab, the founder and chief of WEF, and leaders such as Thai Prime Minister Yingluck Shinawatra, Laotian Prime Minister Thongsing Thammavong and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung are also expected to speak.
The forum will bring together over 450 leaders, including executives from some of Asia’s major companies, such as PTT Public Company from Thailand, CARE USA, Jumeirah Group (United Arab Emirates), GDF SUEZ (France), Fortis Healthcare (India) and Fujitsu (Japan).
On Friday, the President and his ministers will have a bilateral meeting with their Thai counterparts.
Later on Friday, Yudhoyono is expected to give a keynote address at the Asia Security Summit, also known as the Shangri-La Dialogue