Jakarta - More than 150 individuals representing 67 organizations joined AmCham Indonesia and the US Chamber of Commerce for a series of meetings on June 8-19 with senior government officials under the banner of the Financial Services and FinTech Virtual Mission.
The two-week mission was part of Initiative Indonesia, a joint program of AmCham and the US Chamber, and featured in-depth discussions with coordinating economics minister Airlangga Hartarto, finance minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati, Financial Regulatory Agency (OJK) head Wimboh Santoso and other officials. Key private sector players and members of the House of Representatives (DPR) also joined the panels and helped round out a picture of Indonesia’s strategy to recover from the economic pain of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Airlangga pointed to the acceleration of the country’s digital economic transformation as a result of the crisis. He also promised progress on key reforms through the Omnibus Job Creation Bill being discussed in the DPR.
Minister of Finance Sri Mulyani acknowledged the pain caused by the pandemic but said the government is still committed to its reform agenda. She also spoke about digital VAT regulation as a step toward international best practices. She assured companies on the call that the government’s recent budget revisions would enhance recovery.
OJK Chairman Wimboh said the forum was a helpful chance to listen directly to the industry. He said ongoing engagement with business will be key to economic growth.
The mission was also AmCham’s first engagement with the Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs), represented by Vice Minister Kartika Wirjoatmodjo, former CEO of Bank Mandiri. The discussion revolved around potential private sector partnerships with SOEs.
Semuel Pangerapan, Director General of Informatics Applications and a long-time AmCham partner, represented communications minister Johnny Plate. He spoke about increasing connectivity infrastructure during COVID-19 and said he was eager to receive input from the private sector.
The mission delegation also met with US Embassy representatives, DPR members from Commission I and local business associations, such as the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (Kadin), the Indonesian Employers’ Association (Apindo), the Indonesian E-Commerce Association (idEA), and Fintech Indonesia.
Throughout the year, the Initiative engages with the Indonesian government on behalf of member companies to ease regulatory issues and advocate for a better business climate. It will conclude with the annual US-Indonesia Investment Summit in November.
“This virtual mission demonstrates the close relationships AmCham and the US Chamber have with the government of Indonesia. The discussions were in-depth and focused on recovery from the current economic problems brought by the pandemic. The large turnout by our companies also shows that they are serious about being part of Indonesia's future,” said A Lin Neuman, AmCham Indonesia’s Managing Director, who led the delegation.