News / Asia

Trade, Investment Dominates China's Premier's Visit to Indonesia

Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao hakes hands with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono prior to their meeting at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 29, 2011
Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao hakes hands with Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono prior to their meeting at Merdeka Palace in Jakarta, Indonesia, April 29, 2011

Last year when President Barack Obama visited Jakarta, the U.S.-Indonesia bilateral talks focused in large part on education and democracy building. Friday the Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao came to Indonesia, and the talk was almost exclusively about trade and investment.

China is already Indonesia's largest trading partner and Friday's meeting in Jakarta between Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and Chinese Premier Wen Jibao further solidified their economic ties. After bilateral talks the two leaders announced China will give $9 billion in loans to support Indonesia's infrastructure development, and another $10 billion in export credits.

Natalia Soebagjo is the chairperson of the Center for Chinese Studies at the University of Indonesia. She compared the Chinese Preimer's visit to Indonesia with President Obama's visit last year and says unlike Indonesia's complex relationship with the United States, trade dominates its ties to China.

"When the Americans come to Indonesia the focus is primarily on issues related to democratization, if you look at the USAID programs a lot of it is also related to democratization, also a little bit of economic empowerment. Whereas the Chinese when they come, it is just about money," said Soebagjo.

Indonesia is Southeast Asia's biggest economy and ties with China have been growing for years. Since the two countries signed a strategic partnership agreement in 2005 trade between China and Indonesia has increased from $12.5 billion to over $42 billion in 2010. A Chinese official said Friday they want to double that number by 2015.

The free trade agreement between China and Southeast Asian nations that began last year has made it easier for the two countries to do business, but some Indonesian labor groups complain that local industries are being hurt by the influx of cheap Chinese imports. Indonesia does import more from China than it exports to China. The Indonesian president said earlier he would seek protection for some local industries but Chinese officials have not been receptive to re-negotiating the agreement.

Soebagjo says overall Indonesia's economy is expanding, and that in a global market place domestic manufacturers can compete if they improve quality and productivity.

"Our trade with China has also expanded as a result. Ok, we are running at a deficit but at least it is expanding too. But the whole point is the trade agreement forces us to look at ourselves and to make the necessary improvements in order to really capitalize or take advantage of what it can offer," she said.

And she says while America could learn something from China on improving economic ties, the Chinese need to emulate to a degree the U.S. to do business on mutual security, education and even governance issues.

You May Like

Jihadist Assassin says Goal of Tunisia Murders Was Chaos

Abu Muqatil at-Tunusi’s remarks in a propaganda interview also cast light on attack on Bardo Museum More

Russia Denies License to Tatar-Language TV Station in Crimea

OSCE official says denial shows 'politically selective censorship of free and independent voices in Crimea is continuing' More

Kenyan Startups Tackle Expensive Remittances Through Bitcoin

Some think services could give Western Union a run for its money, though others say it’s still got a long way to go More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leadersi
X
Aru Pande
April 01, 2015 9:09 PM
The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video For Obama, It's More Business Than Friendships With World Leaders

The rift between President Barack Obama and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has put a spotlight on the importance of the American leader’s personal relationships with other world leaders and what role such friendships play in foreign policy. VOA's Aru Pande reports.
Video

Video Buhari: Nigeria Has ‘Embraced Democracy’

Nigeria woke up to a new president-elect Wednesday, Muhammadu Buhari. But people say democracy is the real winner as the country embarks on its first peaceful handover of power since the end of military rule in 1999. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Abuja.
Video

Video Tiny Camera Sees Inside Blood Vessels

Ahead of any surgical procedure, doctors try to learn as much as possible about the state of the organs they plan to operate on. A new camera developed in the Netherlands can now make that easier - giving surgeons an incredibly detailed look inside blood vessels, all the way to the patient’s heart. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Latin American Groups Seek Fans at Texas Music Festival

Latin American music groups played all over Austin, Texas, during the recent South by Southwest festival, and some made fans out of locals as well as people from around the world who had come to hear music. Such exposure can boost such groups' image back home. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Stockton Community, Police, Work to Improve Relations

Relations are tense between minority communities and police departments around the United States following police shootings that have generated widely-publicized protests. VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Stockton, California, where police and community groups are working toward solutions, with backing from Washington.
Video

Video Indiana Controversy Highlights Divergent Meanings of Religious Freedom

Indiana’s state government has triggered a nationwide controversy by approving a law that critics say is aimed at allowing discrimination against gays and lesbians. The controversy stems from divergent notions of religious freedom in America. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Report: State of Black America a 'Tale of Two Nations'

The National Urban League has described this year's "State of Black America" report as a "tale of two nations." The group's annual report, released earlier this month (March), found that under an equality index African Americans had only 72% parity compared to whites in areas such as education, economics, health, social justice and civic engagement. It’s a gap that educators and students at Brooklyn’s Medgar Evers College are looking to close. VOA's Daniela Schrier reports from the school.
Video

Video Film Tells Story of Musicians in Mali Threatened by Jihadists

At this year's annual South by Southwest film and music festival in Austin, Texas, some musicians from Mali were on hand to promote a film about how their lives were upturned by jihadists who destroyed ancient treasures in the city of Timbuktu and prohibited anyone from playing music under threat of death. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin, some are afraid to return to their hometowns even though the jihadists are no longer in control there.
Video

Video Ebola Vaccine Trials Underway in West Africa

Ebola has claimed the lives of more than 10,000 people in West Africa. Since last summer, researchers have rushed to get anti-Ebola vaccines into clinical trials. While it's too early to say that any of the potential vaccines work, some scientists say they are seeing strong results from some of the studies. VOA's Carol Pearson reports.
Video

Video Philippines Wants Tourists Spending Money at New Casinos

Tourism is a multi-billion dollar industry in the Philippines. Close to five million foreign visitors traveled there last year, perhaps lured by the country’s tropical beaches. But Jason Strother reports from Manila that the country hopes to entice more travelers to stay indoors and spend money inside new casinos.
Video

Video Civilian Casualties Push Men to Join Rebels in Ukraine

The continued fighting in eastern Ukraine and the shelling of civilian neighborhoods seem to be pushing more men to join the separatist fighters. Many of the new recruits are residents of Ukraine made bitter by new grievances, as well as old. VOA's Patrick Wells reports.
Video

Video Cambodian Land Grabs Threaten Traditional Communities

Indigenous communities in Cambodia's Ratanakiri province say the government’s economic land concession policy is taking away their land and traditional way of life, making many fear that their identity will soon be lost. Local authorities, though, have denied this is the case. VOA's Say Mony went to investigate and filed this report, narrated by Colin Lovett.

VOA Blogs

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More