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Cablegate: Senator Bond Promotes Trade and Investment Links With

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RR RUEHJS
DE RUEHJA #0046 0131100
ZNR UUUUU ZZH
R 131100Z JAN 10
FM AMEMBASSY JAKARTA
TO RUEHC/SECSTATE WASHDC 4274
INFO RUCPDOC/DEPT OF COMMERCE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHRC/DEPT OF AGRICULTURE WASHINGTON DC
RUEHJS/AMCONSUL SURABAYA 2615

UNCLAS JAKARTA 000046

SIPDIS
SENSITIVE

STATE FOR EAP/MTS
STATE ALSO FOR H, EEB/TPP/BTA
COMMERCE FOR 4430 NADJMI
STATE PASS TO USTR EHLERS AND WEISEL

E.O. 12958: N/A
TAGS: ECON ETRD EINV ID
SUBJECT: SENATOR BOND PROMOTES TRADE AND INVESTMENT LINKS WITH
INDONESIA

1. (SBU) Senator Christopher "Kit" Bond promoted U.S. investment and
commercial ties as a way to promote close relations, combat
terrorism through job creation, and contribute to the economic
health of the United States in meetings with Indonesian Minister of
Trade Mari Pangestu and the American Chamber of Commerce in Jakarta
on January 9. Senator Bond also addressed issues of Indonesian
trade barriers, highlighting that uncertainty, arbitrary
regulations, and perceived corruption reduced the opportunities for
U.S. companies to expand in Indonesia.

AmCham Takes the Message
------------------------

2. (SBU) Senator Bond told the Board of Governors of the American
Chamber of Commerce in Indonesia that U.S. businesses should invest
more in Southeast Asia, particularly Indonesia, to promote closer
relations with this crucial country, reduce terrorism by creating
more jobs, and to maintain the United States' economic influence.
Senator Bond listened to AmCham's views on obstacles to more robust
investment in Indonesia, including regulatory and tendering
uncertainty and perceived corruption. AmCham members pointed out
that companies operating in Indonesia are making money. An energy
company representative pointed out that Indonesia still welcomes
independent oil companies, although regulatory changes are making it
harder for them to do business. Senator Bond stated that removing
the tax on U.S. citizens' overseas income would be a positive
development for U.S. companies overseas.

Minister Pangestu Shares the Goal
---------------------------------

3. (SBU) Minister Pangestu welcomed Senator Bond's goals of
promoting trade and investment and stressed that Indonesia is making
progress on addressing the obstacles. She said Indonesia is in the
midst of large-scale reforms with significant progress to date.
Legal certainty, IPR, and corruption remain concerns for the
government and investors, but she noted that anti-corruption efforts
have been the most successful to date. Pangestu believes that
courts should be "better informed," particularly on IPR, but we can
advance legal and regulatory issues through our Trade and Investment
Framework Agreement process.

4. (SBU) Pangestu stressed that the U.S.-Indonesia bilateral
economic relationship focused too much on problems, that it should
instead focus on opportunities and highlight successes, especially
through the Comprehensive Partnership. She stated that she intends
to have Indonesian officials reach out to U.S. businesses throughout
the United States, rather than focusing on Washington DC, New York,
and Los Angeles. Senator Bond encouraged links with Missouri.

5. (SBU) Bond and Pangestu agreed that there were a number of areas
where both countries could cooperate, including renewable energies,
coal gasification, food processing, and financial services. They
also noted the benefits of concluding a new OPIC agreement and from
recent large-scale deals such as the purchase of Boeing aircraft,
Bond stressed the benefits of biotech crops to increase food
production and biomass energy that is being developed in his home
state of Missouri. Both agreed that greater educational exchange
would be beneficial, and Pangestu noted that University of Missouri
has a world-class journalism school that could provide a great
education to Indonesian journalism students.

6. (U) Senator Bond did not have the opportunity to clear this
message.

HUME

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