Ask Americans what the world’s fourth most populous nation is, and you’ll get a wide range of responses, but Indonesia probably won’t be one.
The Southeast Asian nation composed of more than 17,000 islands and about 240 million people is a long way from Atlanta, both in distance and culture. But 15 years after political reforms ushered in a new era of democracy in the mostly Muslim country, Indonesia is the economic anchor of Southeast Asia, a region with high growth rates and a widening middle class.
Through a March 27 business forum in Atlanta, the Indonesian Consulate General in Houston aims to help local business leaders tap specific opportunities in the country, which has maintained growth rates of more than 6 percent in the past two years, Al Busyra Basnur, the consul general, told Global Atlanta during a visit to Atlanta.
The March 27 forum will be headlined by Dino Patti Djalal, the ambassador of Indonesia to the United States. Luky Alfirman, director of macroeconomic policy at the Indonesian Ministry of Finance, is also slated to attend, along with a representative of the Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board in New York. Indonesian-American business leaders will also share their first-hand experience working in the country.
While the conference will be inclusive, it will emphasize “immediate opportunities” in specific sectors to be determined as the event approaches, Mr. Basnur said.
“In short, we are going to focus businesspeople on those areas where we can execute in a short period. We are not going to sell things in the long term,” he said, adding that the consulate is considering putting together a trade mission to Indonesia from Atlanta.
Atlanta was chosen because of its vibrancy as a base for corporate headquarters of major multinationals, as well as its receptive business environment, said Mr. Basnur, who is working with Invest Atlanta, Metro Atlanta Chamber, World Trade Center Atlanta, the Indonesian American Chamber of Commerce of Georgia and the Georgia Asian Times to organize the event.
Georgia imported $850 million in goods from Indonesia and exported $258 million in 2011, according to U.S. Census Bureau data provided by the Georgia Department of Economic Development.
To contact the local Indonesian chamber of commerce, go to https://www.globalatlanta.com/directory/#Indonesia.