Luhut Meets US Secretary of Commerce

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Petir Garda Bhwana

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Coordinating Minister for Maritime and Investment Affairs Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan held a meeting with the United States Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross at his office, November 6. The two state officials discussed investment and trade issues between the two countries. 

    Luhut said his discussion with Ross went smoothly.

    "Today, we must not consider with whom [we cooperate]—be it China, be it America. We have to see that the entire world is starting to integrate," Luhut said yesterday. 

    There were concerns that the close ties between Indonesia and China would ward off Washington, given the ongoing trade war between the two economic giants. However, the US government still sees Indonesia as an important partner to them, despite Joko Widodo's harmonious relationship with Beijing. 

    "There are still plenty of business and opportunities for the private sector in a nation like Indonesia," US Department of State's under secretary for economic growth, energy, and environment Keith Krach said during a press conference for the Indo-Pacific Business Forum (IPBF) in Bangkok, November 4.

    Luhut's meeting with Wilbur Ross was also attended by Energy Minister Arifin Tasrif and Foreign Affairs Deputy Minister Mehendra Siregar. The Meanwhile, Mr. Ross brought 25 CEOs of America's top companies such as Honeywell, Tesla, Qualcomm, and Citibank.

    Luhut said he had invited several automakers like Tesla, Volkswagen, Mercedes-Benz and BMW, as well as the lithium battery company CATL (Contemporary Amperex Technology), to participate in the car battery sector. This is related to Indonesia's ban on raw nickel exports that will kick off January 1, 2020.  

    EKO WAHYUDI | FAJAR PEBRIANTO