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

Obama: Alaskans Feel Signs of Climate Change

Alaskans experiencing bigger storm surges as sea ice melts, more frequent and extensive wildfires, deteriorating glaciers, and swift shoreline erosion More

Katrina Brought Enduring Changes to New Orleans

The city’s recovery is the result of the people and culture the city is famous for, as well as newcomers and start-up industries More

Magical Photo Slides Show Native Americans in Late 1800s

Walter McClintock spent 20 years photographing the Blackfoot Indians and their vanishing culture at the dawn of the modern age 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.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs