Iswaran on Indonesia visit to boost economic ties and pave way for more business opportunities for SMEs

Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran is visiting Jakarta and Medan from April 24-26, during which he will meet Indonesian leaders and affirm Singapore's strong bilateral ties with Indonesia.
Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran is visiting Jakarta and Medan from April 24-26, during which he will meet Indonesian leaders and affirm Singapore's strong bilateral ties with Indonesia.ST PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG

SINGAPORE - Minister for Trade and Industry (Industry) S Iswaran is visiting Jakarta and Medan from April 24-26 to deepen economic relations with Indonesia and pave the way for more business opportunities for Singapore companies in South-east Asia's largest economy.

Mr Iswaran will meet Indonesian Minister for Energy and Mineral Resources Ignasius Jonan and Minister for Industry Airlangga Hartarto in Jakarta, and the North Sumatra Vice-Governor Ibu Nurhajizah in Medan, the Ministry of Trade and Industry (MTI) said in a statement on Monday (April 24).

The meetings will affirm Singapore's strong bilateral ties with Indonesia and explore the expansion of economic collaboration in the areas of energy, tourism, infrastructure, vocational education and the digital sector, said MTI.

Mr Iswaran's visit to the North Sumatra Governor's office also signals a deepening of economic ties with regional governments beyond Jakarta where there is scope for Singapore companies to internationalise, said the ministry.

Mr Iswaran will also visit the East Ventures Hive in Jakarta, a co-working space for tech startups.

As part of Singapore's continued efforts to help small and medium enterprises (SMEs) seize opportunities in Indonesia, Mr Iswaran is also leading a business delegation comprising 10 companies to both cities. The business mission is organised by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore. There are good opportunities for Singapore companies to contribute to Indonesia's goals of enhancing energy supply and accessibility, enriching tourism destinations, refining vocational training, and developing infrastructure, said MTI.

The ministry also noted that 2017 marks the 50th anniversary of Singapore-Indonesia diplomatic relations, and said bilateral economic relations remain strong.

In 2016, bilateral trade amounted to S$56.1 billion, making Indonesia Singapore's fifth largest trading partner while Singapore was Indonesia's third largest trading partner. Singapore also remained the top investor in Indonesia in 2016. Both countries are among each other's top source market for international visitor arrivals for many years. In 2016, about 2.9 million visitors from Indonesia visited Singapore.

Mr Iswaran is accompanied on his visit by officials from MTI, the Economic Development Board, IE Singapore, and the Singapore Tourism Board.