Statement of H.E. Dian Triansyah Djani, Ambassador/Permanent Representative of Indonesia, at the Opening of the 2nd Session of TDB Commision-UNCTAD
May 03, 2010 Posted under Economy, Development and Environment
Mr. Secretary General of UNCTAD,
Allow me to begin by congratulating you, Mr. Chairman, on your election to preside over the second session of the Trade and Development Commission. I am confident that under your able chairmanship we will benefit from a constructive meeting and see significant progress in the work of the Commission. I would also like to thank Dr. Supachai for his opening remarks and the Secretariat for preparing the background documents for this important meeting.
Indonesia aligns itself with the statement made by the Distinguished Ambassador of Cuba on behalf of the G-77 and China, as well as with the Ambassador of Bangladesh on behalf of the Asian Group.
Against the backdrop of the global financial and economic crisis, we must never forget that trade remains an effective engine for growth and development. We believe that one of the most efficient ways to address the impact of the global financial crisis is to harness the trade sector and its potential.
We view trade not only as a catalyst to development, but also a significant tool in addressing the global financial crisis and mitigating the impacts derived of such crisis. We view that the formulation of targeted trade policy is needed to address the crisis. The policy should be formulated to restore confidence, avoid protectionist responses, and deliver real opportunities to return to stable economic growth.
My delegation welcomes the first ever discussion on tourism in this eminent meeting. As the world’s largest industry and fastest growing economic sector, it is high time that we look into the contribution of tourism to trade and development. We should be able to derive new insights and ideas from the discussions during the course of the Commission.
Indonesia believes that tourism has the potential to be a key asset to enhance the economic performance of all states, particularly in developing countries which are endowed with vast area of tourist destinations. Tourism can contribute to the attainment of Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) where governments are striving to alleviate hunger, eradicate poverty, and create more jobs.
We concur with the view of UNCTAD that tourism should be further explored as a contributory factor to development. Trade in tourism services and activities are a key source of income for many developing countries, including Indonesia, where it is the biggest source of foreign exchange after our commodities sector.
In 2009, tourist arrivals in Indonesia reached a record high of 6.4 million, contributing .5 billion to the country’s foreign exchange reserves. In 2010, the Government of Indonesia aims to attract 7 million foreign tourist and approximately USD7 billion of inflows from the tourism sector into the country.
Having learnt valuable lessons from the Asian financial crisis in 1997, Indonesia understands the importance of pre-emptive planning through best practices, and the need for effective trade and development strategies to help mitigate the impact of a financial crisis and to salvage affected sectors. With diligent and disciplined efforts, we have managed to avoid the recent crisis and attained on average 4-5% growth in the last few years.
I am pleased to share with you Indonesia’s best practices which have been implemented through various mechanisms.
Firstly, at the national level, we adopted an economic policy that is strongly pro-business, pro-job creation, and pro-poor. Furthermore, Indonesia’s economic strategy to address the impact of the financial crisis have been prudent national economic and fiscal policies, strengthened bank supervision, and a robust reform agenda to improve foreign investors’ confidence.
In addition, more domestically driven growth and a decreased dependence on imports have also become important components of Indonesia’s economic strategy. A government fiscal stimulus of USD6 billion and greater political stability were also factors which helped Indonesia to withstand the global economic crisis of 2008-2009.
Secondly, regional cooperation has to be optimized. Within the South East Asian subregion, the ASEAN member states, together with China, Japan, and South Korea (ASEAN + 3), have adopted The Chiang Mai Initiative Multilateralisation (CMIM) Agreement last year.
The Agreement provides financial support to its signatories (ASEAN + 3) through a network of currency swap transactions in order to address balance of payments and short-term liquidity difficulties. This agreement symbolizes the strengthening of a multilateral facility that started in 2000. The Agreement is now equipped with a total size of USD120 billion, which is increased from the original level of USD78 billion proposed in 2008, guaranteeing financial support to the signatories in times of economic crisis. The Agreement places an emphasis on mutual support and cooperation between countries in the region. This shows the forward-thinking and common-sense approach of countries that learnt valuable lessons the hard way in the 1997 financial crisis.
I share the views of Dr. Supachai, the Secretary General of UNCTAD, in his opening remarks that we can not rely on business as usual. We should develop targeted strategies and immediate action in the short run so as to mitigate the crisis. We should also develop sustainable policies that address the myriads of challenges we are facing in the future, including by developing productive capacities tailored to needs of each country.
We also share the views that market should remain open and countries avoid protectionism efforts. We look forward to further cooperation between North-South and South-South countries. Within the context of the Sao Paolo Round of GSTP negotiation, it is our sincere hope that we could conclude negotiation and further enhance South-South trade and send a strong message of the vast potentials of South-South cooperation in trade.
In conclusion, it is our hope that this meeting will enable us to build on the lessons learned and adopt best practices. It is our fervent hope that with greater understanding of the crisis and efforts to mitigate it, countries would avoid efforts toward protectionism. We lend UNCTAD our full support in its efforts to find ways to effectively address the impact of the global crisis. More importantly we hope that UNCTAD can assist developing countries in formulating trade and development strategies in order to meet the 2015 deadline for the MDGs.
I thank you.
Geneva, 3 May 2010
Foto : Watapri Jenewa, Dubes Dian Triasyah Djani, sedang menyampaikan statement Indonesia pada sesi pembukaan sidang Komisi Perdagangan dan Pembangunan UNCTAD, Sesi Kedua, tanggal 3 Mei 2010 (dok. PTRI Jenewa)