I am pleased to join all Indonesians in Hong Kong in celebrating the 56th anniversary of Indonesia's Independence Day.
Today, Indonesia marks a new chapter in its history with the government under President Megawati Sukarnoputri riding successfully on to a peaceful path amid uncertainties. The election of Ms Megawati as the fifth President of the Republic of Indonesia signals improvements and a positive move towards political stability. We fervently hope this new development will encourage reconciliation among all peoples of Indonesia.
It is also our ardent hope that this on-going process of political and social stability will lead to an economic revival. Indonesia needs a rest from the political uncertainties that have been plaguing the country over the past few years. We realise that social and political stability is a significant prerequisite for accelerating the economic recovery.
Efforts to maintain political stability and sustain economic improvements have brought Indonesia closer to its goal of developing a strong economy. Today, Indonesia is in great need of financial input from investors and trading partners. Opportunities for partnership, with mutual co-operation, can contribute significantly to a stronger economy. The new Government has pledged to make a serious effort to create a more conducive climate for investment and trade.
An increase in trade will also contribute towards political stability and economic recovery.
Indonesia, with a population of more than 210 million, is still an attractive and promising country in which to invest because of its large market potential. We appeal and invite foreign investors to take immediate action and view positively the major economic policies undertaken by our new Government. Many within the international community have already made moves through partnerships and close co-operation, assisting Indonesia with its economic recovery and contributing significantly towards political stability.
We would like to see the Hong Kong business community seize these opportunities. As an important global trading and financial centre in Asia, Hong Kong has played a pivotal role in the Indonesian economy. Between January and June, Hong Kong had invested in a total of six projects, amounting to US$2 million. Hong Kong is the fourth biggest investor in Indonesia after Japan, Britain and Singapore.
During the first quarter of this year total trade between Indonesia and Hong Kong amounted to US$760 million, trade during the whole of last year amounted to US$2.61 billion. These figures indicate the significant relationship between our two countries on the economic, trade and investment front and the potential for more opportunities.
We would like to express our sincerest gratitude to the Government and the people of the People's Republic of China for their continued support and endeavours towards intensifying the development of mutually beneficial relations.
We also wish to express our appreciation to the Government of Hong Kong for calling on the international community to support our Government's political-economic recovery programme. This is a positive move towards fostering better relations. We look forward to further developing a mutually beneficial relationship between Indonesia and Hong Kong, and China.
MUHAMMAD ROESTAM EFFENDI
Consul-General of Indonesia