Canada looks to boost ties with RI, despite global crisis
The Canadian government is seeking to boost its cooperation with Indonesia to mark 60 years of bilateral relations between the two countries, despite the current global economic crisis.
Speaking at a press conference during celebrations of Canada’s 145th anniversary on Wednesday, Canadian Ambassador to Indonesia Mackenzie Clugston said the global crisis might cause Canadian investment in Indonesia to drop a little over the next few years.
“Everyone is cautious right now. At the moment, companies are tending to wait and observe the situation before making decisions,” he said.
However, he added, he remained hopeful that business would bounce back soon. “Trade has grown 38 percent in the last two years. We already have businesses in some sectors, for example insurance and mining. The business climate in Indonesia is good and welcoming to Canadians,” he said.
Total trade between the two countries reached C$2.87 billion (US$2.79 billion) in the first 11 months of 2011. This represents a 41 percent increase over 2010, when total trade reached C$2.03 billion.
In February, the Canadian Embassy in Indonesia sent 11 Canadian businesspeople to South Sulawesi to learn about business opportunities in the province.
A number of Canadian companies are operating in South Sulawesi, including nickel producer PT Vale Indonesia (previously known as PT Inco) — which has operated in the province for 43 years — and insurance company Manulife.
Finance Minister Agus Martowardojo, who attended the celebration, said that Indonesia and Canada had maintained strong bilateral ties over the last 60 years. He said the government appreciated that Canadian companies had shown interest in investing in Indonesia.
“We hope to see more Canadian companies in the country, especially in the sectors of finance and mining,” he told The Jakarta Post. (tas)