Remarks by His Excellency Wen Jiabao Premier of the People's Republic of China At China-Indonesia Strategic Business Dialogue
Jakarta, 30 April 2011
Your Excellency Vice President Boediono,
It gives me great pleasure to meet representatives of the business communities of our two countries. Let me take this opportunity to express sincere thanks and best wishes to friends who have contributed over the years to stronger business ties of our countries and deeper friendship between the two peoples.
China and Indonesia are friendly neighbors facing each other across the sea. We are also strategic partners of equality and mutual benefit. In recent years, our growing political mutual trust and closer high-level exchanges have taken the bilateral ties to a new stage where they enjoy more robust and fruitful development. Thanks to the concerted efforts of our economic communities, our deepening economic and trade cooperation has produced substantial results and brought real benefits to people of the two countries.
- Two-way trade has expanded rapidly. In the first decade of the new century, our trade volume grew by 22.8% every year on average. It reached US$42.75 billion in 2010, far exceeding the US$30 billion target set by leaders of the two countries. China has become Indonesia's second largest trading partner, the largest source of imports and the second largest export market. Salak, mangosteen, and other tropical fruits from Indonesia are widely popular in China while temperate fruits from China have added variety to the kitchen table of the Indonesians.
- Mutual investment has kept growing. The fast growth of the two economies is attracting more businesses to invest in each other's countries. By the end of 2010, more than 1,000 Chinese companies had invested and established presence in Indonesia, making over US$6 billion investment of various types, paying more than US$1 billion taxes and creating over 30,000 jobs in Indonesia. Meanwhile, Indonesian companies had invested more than US$2 billion in China.
- Cooperation in infrastructural development has been highly productive. Active involvement of Chinese companies in major infrastructure projects in Indonesia has been a bright spot in our business ties. Both the Suramadu Bridge and the Asahan hydro plant, completed in 2009 and 2010 respectively, are landmark projects in Southeast Asia and "calling cards" of Chinese project contractors to enter the global market. These major infrastructure projects, which are high in quality, low in cost, and much needed for development, have improved the living and working conditions of the Indonesian people and cemented the foundation for sustained economic development.
- Financial cooperation has been thriving. Over the past few years, the Chinese government has, in the light of the actual needs of Indonesia's economic development, provided Indonesia with US$2.8 billion in preferential export buyer's credit. This has made Indonesia the biggest beneficiary of this type of loans from China. At the same time, quite a few Chinese banks and insurers have set up branches in Indonesia to take part in the local economic development. For the first phase of Indonesia's 10 million kilowatts power plants project alone, Chinese banks have provided around US$6.5 billion in commercial loans.
- Local and people-to-people exchanges have been frequent. Local governments of the two countries have forged five pairs of sister provinces and 10 pairs of sister cities. The natural beauty and time-honored, splendid civilizations of the two countries are attracting tourists from across the world. In 2010, some 470,000 Chinese tourists visited Indonesia while 570,000 Indonesian tourists went to China. More interactions will naturally bring the hearts of our peoples closer.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
My visit to Indonesia is a journey for deeper understanding and friendship. It is also aimed at planning for the future and enhancing our cooperation. During my visit, President Yudhoyono and I have had friendly and productive talks. The two sides signed an inter-governmental agreement on expanding and deepening economic and trade cooperation, set a new trade target of US$80 billion by 2015, and entered into economic and trade contracts with a total value of US$10 billion. We have reached broad consensus on furthering our business ties. We share the view that China and Indonesia are highly complementary economically and both are in a stage of fast economic growth. We agree that our economic and trade cooperation is blessed with a solid political foundation and broad prospects. To upgrade and broaden our business cooperation and bring greater benefits to the people of the two countries, I wish to propose that we take the following steps.
First, we need to expand the scale of bilateral trade. China and Indonesia are populous countries with great market potential. There is much potential to be tapped in our bilateral trade. We need to promote trade facilitation, consolidate and increase bilateral trade in commodities, large mechanic and electrical products, and high value-added products, and improve import-export mix in a bid to raise the scale and scope of bilateral trade. China does not seek a trade surplus, and will import more from Indonesia and promote sound, balanced and sustained growth of our trade. We know that Indonesia wishes to export more tropical fruits to China. We are ready to step up the communication and consultation between the competent agencies of the two governments to give Indonesian fruits easier access to the Chinese market. We hope that Indonesian companies will make best use of such platforms as the China-ASEAN Expo and the China Import and Export Fair (the Canton Fair) to promote their products and gain a greater market share in China.
Second, we need to accelerate cooperation in infrastructural development. China supports its companies in participating in the development of roads, bridges, ports, power plants, communication and other infrastructural facilities in Indonesia through various ways, including the already launched second phase of the 10 million kilowatts power plants project. To deepen our cooperation in this field, the Chinese government has decided to offer Indonesia another US$1 billion in preferential export buyer's credit and will, at the same time, encourage financial institutions to give financing support to cooperation projects that meet required conditions. We hope that the two sides will speed up the implementation of the agreed projects using the preferential export buyer's credit, make full and wise use of the remaining credit, and work for an early launch of relevant cooperation projects.
Third, we need to vigorously expand investment cooperation. The Chinese government always welcomes the investments and business of Indonesian companies. At the same time, we encourage and offer support to competent Chinese companies to invest more in Indonesia, with a focus on our mutually beneficial cooperation in agriculture, fishery, tourism, processing, manufacturing, energy, and resources. One effective way to broaden our investment cooperation is to establish a China-Indonesia economic and trade cooperation zone. We hope that both sides will increase investment and step up efforts to attract more companies to the zone. Indonesia is implementing the scheme of six economic corridors and building special economic zones in Papua and elsewhere. China will encourage its companies to actively study the possibility of playing a part in relevant endeavors. We hope that the Indonesian government will provide facilitation and policy support for Chinese companies to invest in Indonesia.
Fourth, we need to deepen multilateral economic and trade cooperation. Indonesia has significant influence in the world. It is an important member of the G20 and N11. China places great importance on Indonesia's standing and role in international and regional affairs. We stand ready to work with Indonesia to advance the business ties between China and ASEAN, promote the mutually beneficial cooperation among developing countries, and oppose trade protectionism. The China-ASEAN FTA represents a community of shared interests established after years' of careful preparation by China and ASEAN countries. Past development shows that the FTA serves the interests of Indonesia, other ASEAN countries, and China. It is a model for mutual benefit and win-win cooperation. We hope that companies from both sides will make the most of the preferential policies of the FTA, bring out their comparative strengths, and expand exchanges and cooperation across the board. We hope that the governments and various sectors of society of both countries will dearly cherish the hard-won achievements, properly address the various issues cropping up in the FTA development, and work together in developing and maintaining the FTA so that our two economies can complement each other with respective strengths in more areas and at a higher level.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
China and Indonesia are two important, big developing countries in Asia. Closer economic and trade cooperation between the two countries is in the fundamental interests of both countries and beneficial to regional peace, stability and development. We enjoy favorable opportunities, geographic proximity, and public support in strengthening our business ties. I have full confidence that our enterprising business people will seize the opportunities, deepen the mutually beneficial cooperation with greater resolve and courage, and work together to create a bright future for the business cooperation between our two countries.