By Publisher Lee Kyung-sik with Busienss Editor Kim Neung-hyun, Reporters Kim Jung-mi, Son Da-som, Kim Do-kyun
Korean companies are welcome to invest in variouos national development projects in Indonesia as the country needs investment in people in order to develop skills and knowledge required in this digital and competitive era. Indonesia needs investment in infrastructure for connectivity (roads, airports, seaports, railways).
So said Ambassador Umar Hadi of Indonesia in Seoul at an exclusive interview with The Korea Post media for publication on the occasion of the National Day of the country on Aug. 17, 2019.
Nowadays in Korea, economic cooperation with the different countries of the world is among the top-priority tasks. In this respect, Indonesia looms large in view of the fact that she has the world’s foruth largest population and her economic growth and development are also among the fastest in the world. Details of the interview follow:
Question: What are the areas in your country where you want Korean companies to invest in and what are the areas where you wish your businessmen to invest in Korea?
Answer: Indonesia encourages Korean companies to invest in areas being the priorities of Indonesia's national development. Indonesia needs investment in people - in order to develop skills and knowledge required in this digital and competitive era. Indonesia still needs investment in infrastructure for connectivity (roads, airports, seaports, railways).
Indonesia needs investment in tourism sector. Indonesia invites Korean companies to develop 10 new tourist destinations in Indonesia (the 10 new Bali). Digital economy is also one of quite attractive industries in Indonesia that Korean company might be eager to take part.
Indonesia wishes to penetrate the fashion market in South Korea. Indonesia has many young and talented fashion designers with unique clothes products that fit into South Korean market. Indonesia looks to have future collaboration with Korean fashion industries as well as department store.
Indonesia is also to embrace the Industry 4.0 model, and Indonesia encourages the South Korea technology companies to bring their latest technology to Indonesia.
Q: What is current volume of bilateral trade, its outlook in the next 12 months?
A: Data from the Korea International Trade Association (KITA) says that trade between the two countries, from the period of January to May reached $ 7.36 billion. It’s lower 9.9% than last year in the same period. Major Indonesia’s export and import from Korea are fuels and lubricants that fluctuates with the oil prices, meanwhile import from Korea was once concentrate on fuels and lubricants but had diversified to more industrial supplies and other goods to support domestic industries production. Indonesia export mineral products 49% to Korea and if we are looking deeper 24% of coal and 14% natural gas.
In other way, Indonesia major import from Korea are machines, metals, textile and mineral products.
Most of Indonesian imports from Korea is electronic components and parts used in telecommunication and electronic products: strong link with Korean investments.
Indonesia and South Korea are to revive its Comprehensive Economic Partnership Agreement (CEPA). Trade and Investment are an important vehicle for both countries cooperation. We expect that the ongoing CEPA negotiation will be finished successfully by the end of this year.
Digital Economy potential for Indonesia including in service sector like creative industries and entertainment. Also Education, training, innovation and R&D will be the lead sectors
The trade pattern between Indonesia and Korea shows strong complementarities. While Korea has high technologies and abundant capital, Indonesia possesses enormous natural resources. Thus, the two states will continue to enjoy economic cooperation in a complementary way.
Q: Who are the Korean companies actively contributing to the economic cooperation between the two countries?
A: Korean companies have contributed significantly to Indonesia's economy since the 1970s. As early as 1973, Miwon has established a factory in Pasuruan, East Java. Other companies include: Kukdong, a Korean textile and garment company, has been operating in Indonesia since 1988, creating jobs for more than 4000 workers. Parkland, has been investing in Indonesia since 2005 in footwear industry and employed 13.000 workers. Sae-A Trading, another textile and garment company has been in Indonesia since 2007 and has 10.500 workers.
Korean companies operating in Indonesia particularly in the form of foreign direct investment can be regarded as integral parts of Indonesia’s economy by creating more than 11.200 projects and absorbing more than 620,000 direct workers with total realized investments accounting for over US$ 7.3 billion which eventually puts Korea as the 7th largest investor in Indonesia for the past 5 years (period of 2014 to Q1 2019).
Q: Please introduce in full the the National Day of your country.
A: Indonesia celebrates its Independence Day on the 17th of August.
On 17 August 1945, the founding fathers of Indonesia proclaimed the birth of an independent state: The Republic of Indonesia.
This year Indonesia will commemorate its 74th anniversary of its independence.
The commemoration of Indonesia’s Independence Day is celebrated by the Indonesian people throughout the country and all over the world including in South Korea.
The Independence Day is observed by series of events which include flag-raising ceremony and various fun and interesting programs initiated by the Indonesian community.
The Indonesian Embassy in Seoul joins the celebration by organizing many activities ranging from sports games to flag-raising ceremony on the 17th of August.
Q: Please introduce the Head of Government of your country in full, including his/her family and hobbies. leaders of the Korean government.
A: H.E. Mr. Joko Widodo (also known as “Jokowi”) is Indonesia's current President since October 2014, through a direct presidential election. He is re-ellected for the second term on the 28th of June 2019. He will serve as the Head of State as well as the Head of Government for another 5 years ahead.
President Joko Widodo is married and has three children and two grandchildren.
President Joko Widodo graduated from the University of Gadjah Mada, Yogyakarta, majoring in forestry engineering. He was a successful businessman in furniture industry before entering politics. He served as the Mayor of Solo City and the Governor of the Jakarta before running for presidency in 2014.
President Joko Widodo is very passionate in music especially rock and heavy metal music. He also loves riding motorbike, watching movies, and farming animals like birds, chicken and horses.
President Joko Widodo is popular with his "blusukan style". "Blusukan" refers to his unique style to make impromptu visits and direct engagement with the people, listen to their problems and try to find immediate solutions.
President Joko Widodo also loves to do walking. On 4 August 2018, he launched an initiative called "Indonesia Keep On Walking" to encourage Indonesian people to walk more. President Jokowi along with 20 Indonesian and Korean Millenials also made a historical walk along Chonggyechon on his visit to Seoul in September last year. This walk yields some concrete cooperations, especially in revitalizing Indonesian rivers.
Q: Please introduce the Government Minister in charge of economic cooperation and trade with Korea and other countries of the world.
A: Drs. Enggartiasto Lukita was appointed as the Minister of Trade of the Republic of Indonesia in July 28th 2016. Minister Enggar has a notable experience in Government, particularly in House of Representatives where he served as Legislature from Golkar Party for 17 years. During his term as Legislature, Minister Enggar has been engaged in various Commissions, notably Commission for Agriculture, Commission for Infrastructure and Transportation, and Commission for Defense, Foreign Affairs, Communication and Information Technology, and Intelligence Service.
The Chairman of Indonesia Investment Coordinating Board is served by H.E. Mr. Thomas Trikasih Lembong. He was the Indonesian Minister of Trade from August 2015 to July 2016. Prior his appointment in the cabinet, he has a long professional record. In 1994, Mr. Lembong started his career at Morgan Stanley and Company, Makindo, and Deutsche Securities Indonesia.
Besides that, Chairman of Indonesia Creatif Economy Agency H.E. Mr. Triawan Munaf was also appointed by President JokoWidodo as the senior liaison officer for Korea, with duties that include encouraging the realization of cooperation between the two countries in the field of economy and trade, and has helped Korean companies expand to Indonesia.
Q: As the Ambassador to the Republic of Korea, please introduce the progress of bilateral cooperation in the ecnomic, political and other areas so far made during your tenure of office in Korea and your view of the outlook of further development between the countries.
A: Economic cooperation:
Over the past year, the economic relationship between Indonesia and South Korea is tremendously progressing.
In September 2018 the state visit of the President of the Republic of Indonesia to South Korea, it was agreed to strengthen economic cooperation in particular trade, investment and industry through, among others:
-Joint efforts reach the trade target of US$30 billion by 2022.
-Facilitating market access for Indonesian agricultural products in South Korea.
-Encouraging an increase in South Korea's investment in Indonesia in the fields of iron-steel, chemical, automotive, infrastructure and environmentally friendly energy.
-Building cooperation to support the development of Indonesian industry towards Industry 4.0
During President Moon Jae-in state visit to Indonesia, President Moon and President Joko Widodo agreed to elevate the status of relationship between the two countries into a 'Special Strategic Partnership'. Also in Jakarta, President Moon announced his ‘New Southern Policy' that underscores his government’s efforts to improve relations with Indonesia and other ASEAN countries.
Special Strategic Partnership as stated in the Joint Vision Statement for Co-Prosperity and Peace shows that the relationship between Indonesia and South Korea is closely based on mutual trust, shared values and principles.
The Special Strategic Partnership then serve as the locomotive to enhance concrete cooperation in various fields, particularly in key industries and infrastructures, health, investment and on strengthening the two countries’ contribution to the region and the world, especially through their joint efforts including triangular cooperation framework.
Both leaders also commit to further deepen cooperation in various regioonal and international organizastions sucha as United Nations, APEC, ASEAN+3, the EAS, ARF, G20 and MIKTA.
Indonesia is the current coordinator of MIKTA. Along with other members, both countries has been actively implement the cooperation particularly in the field of creative economy and sustainable tourism.
The partnership places greater emphasis on concrete cooperation for the benefit of the two countries and peoples.
Q: Korean business leaders as well as the FTAs want rest and recuperation. What are the attractive tourist destinations of your country?
A: The strongest point of Indonesia as a tourist destination lies with its cultural diversity. There are diverse cultural expressions from one island to another.
Besides cultural diversity, Indonesia is blessed with beautiful scenery; from beautiful lake to magnificent sea, from mountain to valley, from modernity to exotism, from Aceh to Papua. The “10 new Balis” are strongly recommended for Korean tourists to visit, namely: Mandalika; Mount Bromo; Borobudur; Lake Toba/Samosir Island; Pulau Seribu; Labuan Bajo; Wakatobi; Tanjung Lesung; Tanjung Kelayang; and Morotai Island.
Q: Please introduce yourself fully for the readers of the five media outlet (3 in English and 2 in Korean).
A: I arrived in Seoul as the Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia on May 10 of 2017. I remember this specifically because it was an election day in Korea. I was very lucky for having the honor to be among the first ambassadors to receive credentials from President Moon Jae In.
I relayed President Jokowi’s invitation to President Moon to visit Jakarta, and by November he was already in Jakarta. In return, by September of the following year, President Jokowi visited Seoul.
I brought two targets in my mission. First is to put Indonesia at the frontline of Korea’s foreign policy. Second is to bring the relationship between the two countries and the two Leaders closer.
This is not an easy job, but I would say that 80 percents of my targets so far have been achieved. And the starting point of all of it was when both countries, after 11 years, agreed to upgrade its bilateral relations from Strategic Partnership into Special Strategic Partnership.
Excerpts from the CV of Ambassador Hadi:
Umar Hadi is a career diplomat with 26years of service. Before he was assigned as Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the Republic of Korea in 2017, he served as the Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia in Los Angeles (2014-2017).
Prior to that, he served as Director for West Europe Affairs at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (2012-2014), Director of Public Diplomacy (2005-2009), Deputy Director at the Office of the Foreign Minister (2001-2005), and officer at an ad-hoc office for the Chairmanship of Indonesia in the Non-AlignedMovement (1992-1995).
His overseas posts include Minister Plenipotentiary and Deputy Chief of Mission at the Indonesian Embassy in the Hague, the Netherlands (2009-2012) and Second Secretary at the Indonesian Permanent Mission to the United Nations and other International Organizations in Geneva, Switzerland (1996-2001). He has also been involved in numerous negotiations and international conferences.
Umar Hadi sits at the Board of Advisors of the Institute for Peace and Democracy, the implementing agency of the BaliDemocracy Forum, since its inception in 2008. He also organized series of meetings of the Global Inter-Media Dialogue, an Indonesia-Norway joint initiative to promote inter-cultural understanding.
He initiated groundbreaking collaborative projects between the Foreign Ministry and civil society organizations, among others in establishing the International Conference of Islamic Scholars and the Asia-Pacific Regional Dialogue for Interfaith Cooperation.
He studied at the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy (Medford, USA), the Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies (Geneva, Switzerland), and the Padjadjaran University (Bandung, Indonesia).
Umar Hadi has written, co-authored and edited a number of publications, including: “Islam in Indonesia: A to Z Basic Reference” (2009, “Indonesia and World Peace” (2008), “Indonesian Masterpieces at Home and Abroad” (2008) and “The Linggajati Conference: A History Book for Children” (2007).
He produced a documentary movie “Bali: Beats of Paradise” in 2017-2018to share the Balinese culture and Gamelan music with the world. It was played at several movie theaters in New York, Los Angeles, and soon in Korea. He enjoys reading world history and spending time with his family, bicycles and model trains. Born 11 February 1968, Umar Hadi is married to Siti Nila Purnama Hadi. They have adaughter, Ratna Aini Hadi who is studying InternationalStudies and Political Science at the University of California in Irvine.
Q: Please add whatever other details that we might have left out from the questionnaire.
A: Indonesia’s population in 2019 is estimated 260 million people. 55% of them are young population (under 25 years old). While the median age of Indonesia’s population is 28 years old.
Indonesia is expected to be the epicenter of Southeast Asia’s digital economy. You can imagine that over 104 million of Indonesian people are internet and massive users of online application. Indonesia is considered to be one of the biggest online markets worldwide. The government itself is very supportive to the growth of digital economy.
There are around 40,000 Indonesian people living in South Korea. 36,000 of them are migrant workers. They work in a number of Korean companies, mostly in manufacturing factories. Some other work at fisheries sector. Indonesia is grateful that the Indonesian workers are given the opportunity to contribute to Korea's economy.
Indonesia also has around 2,500 young Indonesians currently studying in South Korea. They learn and experience Korean culture and language. On the other hand, there are also a quite number of Koreans studying Bahasa Indonesia in HUFS and BUFS - a quite number of Koreans as well graduated from Indonesian art and cultural program. Indonesia believes they are the agents of, and assets for, future and greater partnership between Indonesia and South Korea.