REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, JAKARTA - President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono (SBY) officially opens Asean Latin Business Forum held on July 9-10 in Shangri-La Hotel Jakarta. With a theme of 'Towards a Sustainable Future', the forum will discuss trade and investment business opportunities in the ASEAN and Latin American region.
On his opening speech, SBY appreciated the economic growth in Latin America, following his visit to the region. "I witnessed the strong growth and dynamic economy in Latin America," he said on Monday.
The United Nations Economic Commission in Latin America and Caribbean (UNECLAC), he explained, predicted that Latin America and Caribbean would grow around 4.1 percent this year. Compared to world economic growth, it is an achievement for Latin America despite the number is lower than last year.
"I was also impressed with the fact that Latin America GDP reaches 6.87 trillion USD," he said.
Meanwhile, the economic growth in ASEAN is increasing fast. It is predicted to reach 5-7.2 percent, while the collective GDP has reached 3.36 trillion USD. With those conditions, SBY expects the cooperation between both countries generates promising results.
"We are two dynamic regions. Both have much potency to collaborate," he said.
A forum of trade ministers
This forum will be attended by ministers of trade from Southeast Asia, Latin American and Caribbean, and beyond, such as Indonesian Minister of Trade Gita Wirjawan, Peru Minister of Foreign Trade and Tourism Jose Luis Silva Martinot, and Singapore's Minister of Trade and Industry Lim Hng Kiang. Some corporate leaders and economists also attend the event.
The Chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KADIN) from Indonesia, Suryo Bambang Sulisto, in his opening remark at the forum, expected the forum to open so many doors to leverage new business opportunities on both sides. "Likewise I hope our ASEAN Participants will learn more about the potentials and opportunities in Latin American," he said.
The opportunities for ASEAN in this forum are to learn about business opportunities and make new contacts, identify landmark projects and share best practices, agree upon joint international initiatives, and recommend solutions for regulatory bottlenecks.