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Cablegate: Mission Indonesia Promotes Entrepreneurship

VZCZCXRO6171
RR RUEHJS
DE RUEHJA #2104 3620752
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 280752Z DEC 09
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4198
INFO RHEHNSC/NSC WASHDC
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 2608

UNCLAS JAKARTA 002104

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

DEPT FOR EAP/MTS, EEB/CBA,
AND S/P GBEHRMAN
DEPT PASS TO USTR FOR KELHERS; BWEISEL

E.O. 12598: N/A
TAGS: ECON EAID PGOV SOCI ID
SUBJECT: Mission Indonesia Promotes Entrepreneurship

REFTEL: STATE 112468

1. (SBU) Summary: Embassy Jakarta actively engages in promoting
entrepreneurship as a means to strengthen ties with high-impact
economic actors in Indonesia. This key group of stakeholders has
the potential to positively shape and influence economic and
political governance. Efforts to date have shown promise.
Indonesian officials and business leaders have expressed enthusiasm
to cooperate on entrepreneurship and interest in hosting a follow-on
event to President Obama's planned Entrepreneurship Summit in early
2010. As a possible component of the proposed U.S.-Indonesia
Comprehensive Partnership, entrepreneurship promotion and exchange
would advance relations in the world's largest Muslim population
country and third largest democracy. End Summary.

2. (SBU) Post organizes regular meetings and roundtable discussions
with entrepreneurs and business leaders as part of our outreach
efforts. The Ambassador held a roundtable discussion with members
of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO), one of several
associations representing Indonesia's growing entrepreneurial class.
Our DCM hosted a roundtable with a similar group, the Jakarta
Chapter of Entrepreneurship Organization (EO) to discuss investment
climate concerns among other shared interests. The Ambassador also
initiated a series of "fireside chats" with Indonesian business
leaders to engage on current issues and cooperation in a private and
informal setting. Most recently, Under Secretary Burns met with a
group of young Indonesian leaders, including several entrepreneurs,
during his visit to Jakarta in December. These outreach efforts
have been an effective means of strengthening ties and increasing
mutual understanding. As a result, Indonesian business leaders have
played a constructive role in the resolution of several
long-standing commercial disputes. Support from the local business
community was also critical to persuading the Government of
Indonesia (GOI) to enter negotiations to update OPIC's Investment
Incentive Agreement.

3. (SBU) Post approached Endeavor, a U.S.-based NGO specializing in
entrepreneurship, to establish a program in Indonesia. Our
initiative to engage Endeavour was in response to feedback we
received from our outreach efforts. Indonesian entrepreneurs and
business leaders expressed consistent concerns that Indonesia lacked
the training opportunities and entrepreneurial expertise needed to
reach its potential and compete at the global level. The Ambassador
responded by meeting with Endeavor CEO Linda Rottenberg to discuss
the prospects of establishing a program in Indonesia. Endeavor
responded favorably; we expect them to arrive for their first
assessment trip at the end of January 2010.

4. (SBU) Post is incorporating more entrepreneurship content into
Mission programming:

-- Public Affairs U.S. Speaker series on youth entrepreneurship with
Indonesian audiences to Jakarta, Surabaya and Medan;

-- Placement of an op-ed in a local paper around the time of the
President's Entrepreneurship Summit early next year;

-- Consideration of incorporating an entrepreneurship-theme into our
next film festival of popular American films;

-- Promotion of entrepreneurship through various USAID programs,
including a loan guarantee program designed to assist entrepreneurs
to gain access to much-needed financing;

-- Initial discussions with the office of Commercial and Business
Affairs on possibilities for further cooperation on entrepreneurship
with Indonesia.

5. (SBU) Outreach to Muslim countries often focuses on a narrow
definition of "civil society" that excludes the business class. The
President's Cairo initiative rightly highlights entrepreneurship as
a priority area. Indonesia is the world's largest Muslim majority
country, and entrepreneurs and business leaders wield significant
influence in shaping its political and economic future. Enhancing
our engagement with these stakeholders through entrepreneurship
promotion is an effective means to strengthen our partnership with
the world's third largest democracy.

OSIUS

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