President Jokowi Receives Courtesy Call from Princess Astrid of Belgium
President Joko Jokowi Widodo on Tuesday morning (15/3) at the Merdeka Palace received a courtesy call from Princess Astrid of Belgium.
Princess Astrid is the younger sister to the current Belgian monarch, King Philippe.
In the 30-minute meeting, the President was accompanied by Minister of Foreign Affairs RetnoMarsudi, Minister of State Secretary Pratikno, and Head of the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) Franky Sibarani.
According to Retno, the Princesss visit to Indonesia this time is one of the biggest official visit from Belgium as it brought more than 300 Belgian entrepreneurs from 127 companies.
Princess Astrid is scheduled to be in Indonesia for more than one week (from March 12 through March 19).
During the meeting, Indonesia and Belgium have agreed to continue strengthening cooperation in the economic, trade, and investment sectors because Belgium is one of Indonesias important partners in the trade and investment sectors, Retno said in a press conference after the meeting.
According to Retno, trade volume between Indonesia and Belgium in 2015 reached US$ 1.67 billion, while investment values between the two countries reached more than US$ 7 million. In addition, she said there are approximately 2,000 Belgian companies are operating in Indonesia.
The President also explained about measures that the Indonesian Government has made in making Indonesias economy more open and competitive, Retno added.
Retno added that the President also explained about 10 de-regulation packages that have been launched by the Indonesian Government; one of them is the issuance of the NegativeInvestment List (DaftarNegatifInvestasi/DNI).
For the record, at least 127 companies joined the Princess during the visit, among others, construction, infrastructure, energy, clean energy, ICT, food and beverage, financial services, transport logistic, agro industry, maritime, education companies and many others.
Retno further saidthat Indonesia has been chosen as 2017Europhalia invited country to be held in Belgium.
Europhalia is a major international arts festival in Europe held every two years to celebrate one invited countrys cultural heritage. In 2015, Turkey became the invited country while in 2017, Indonesia will become the invited country.
The festival will be held in a number of cities in Belgium as well as in several countries in Europe.
So this is a big collaboration with a big number of participants. And certainly, with Indonesia becoming the invited country will show Indonesias portraits in Belgium in particular and in Europe, Retno said.
Retno also said that the two leaders also talked about Indonesia that has been selected as the invited country, which has been discussed since last year and it was at the requestof the Belgium Government.
As for the detailed preparations, Retno said that it would be handled by the Ministry of Education and Culture.
In the meantime, Head of BKPMFrankySibarani said that the talk between President Jokowi and Princess Astrid is important to get supports from the Belgium Government to invest in Indonesia.
According to him, Indonesia needs more investors.
Franky added that BKPMwould also support the investment process by amending regulations as well as by reforming measures made by the Indonesian Government.
One of them is that next week, we and the Belgian Ambassador to Indonesia will make the follow up by discussing matters related with the investors who will really need information related with their interests,Franky said.
Franky also said that Belgium had expressed its interest in the management of renewable energy such as wind power.
One of the leading technology that Belgium has is the wind power technology and in Europe, it has been much used. Those investors need assistance and help from BKPM and helped so that they can get clear information, Franky said. (FID/JAY/ES)(EP/YM/Naster)