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Monday, March 2, 2009

Indonesia realizes promotion to Middle East still insufficient

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia realizes that its promotion to the Middle East is still insufficient causing investment from the region remains low.

The country`s state enterprise minister, Sofyan Djalilm said here on Monday "we are still under-promoted in the Middle East so that only few investors from the region know the country while the potentials in our country are huge."

The minister said at a press conference on the 5th World Islamic Economic Forum that a Middle Eastern investor told him over a lunch that afternoon about his wife who asked what for when he told her he would leave for Indonesia, impressing that the country was still unknown.

However, Sofyan who is also a deputy chair of the meeting said the investor immediatelly called his wife upon arrival here to ask her to come to Jakara telling her that "shopping malls here are no less superior than those in the US or Europe."

So, they really did not know much about Jakarta, the minister said.

In view of that he hoped the holding of the World Islamic Economic Forum would make Middle Eastern investors know the country better and interested to invest in the country.

He said he also hoped the forum would lead to agreements as well as their implementation.

Another deputy chair of the meeting, Tanri Abeng, shared the minister`s view that Indonesia still insufficiently conducted promotion to the Middle East. In view that he said he planned to conduct better promotion efforts.

"At the end of the meeting on March 4 we would conduct an exhibition on Indonesia to promote the country`s potentials. Moreover more participants attended the meeting this time and more than half of them came from the Middle East. The number of attendees was larger than it was in Malaysia before," he said.

This means, he said, that Middle Eastern investors began to be interested in the country. "It has never happened before that the number of delegates reaching more than one thousand," he said.

He said now was the opportunity for Indonesia to attract foreign investors. "They used to look at the US and Europe because of their financial sector but now when the West is in crisis they turned to the East," he said.

He said investment in Eastern countries would not be the same as in the West. "In the Eastern countries it would go more to the real sector while in the West it would go the financial sector. This means an opportunity for us that have a huge pontential in the sector," he said.

The chairman of the South African Chambers of Commerce and Industry, Ibrahim E Patel, said the event was an important forum for investors to know more about Moslem countries.

"Here we would discuss substantial platforms stressing on partnership cooperation. We know that trade knows no state borders, politics, religions and races," he said.

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