Ambassador Blake Delivers Remarks at Opening of HP Service Center

It is a pleasure to be here to help celebrate Hewlett Packard’s new flagship service center in Jakarta and its expansion of service and support to 300 cities around Indonesia. I am pleased to be here with Pak Azhar Lubis who, along with Pak Mahendra Siregar, are so ably leading Indonesia’s efforts to attract investment from around the world. We are celebrating HP’s expansion today, but I would note that HP has been in Indonesia for almost 20 years – the company has shown a real commitment to Indonesia and Indonesian consumers. With this expanded service offering, HP is increasing that commitment. HP’s expansion is a testament to the growth of Indonesia’s economy, its middle class and the growing dynamism of regions outside Java. I recently presented credentials to President Yudhoyono. I told him that one of my top goals as Ambassador to Indonesia is to strengthen our trade and investment relationship. We have a fantastic foundation on which to build.

In 2013, total trade between Indonesia and the United States was record-high at $28 billion, representing 8% growth over 2012. Indonesia currently exports goods worth $10 billion more to the United States than it imports from us — a sizable trade surplus that Andrew White of AmCham and I hope to balance! The growth of companies like HP will certainly help. When countries trade with each other, both countries benefit. U.S. trade has a positive impact beyond what’s reflected in numbers, like technology transfer, job creation, and corporate social responsibility. HP’s CSR efforts help to prepare Indonesia’s next generation of leaders by training young entrepreneurs and providing technology training and equipment to schools.

Investment both ways also brings benefits beyond the story the numbers tell us. One recent study done by the American Chamber of Commerce in partnership with the Paramadina Public Policy Institute and USAID showed that in the past nine years, U.S. companies have invested $65 billion in Indonesia. That investment has helped to create 1.75 million jobs. That same study found that U.S. companies are poised to invest a further $61 billion in Indonesia in the next 3 to 5 years, provided that the regulatory and investment environment promotes and welcomes foreign investment. And we welcome Indonesian investment in the United States. In Indonesia our goal is to ensure a level playing field for U.S. exports and investment so that we can all benefit from the free flow of cutting edge technology products and services, and we can all benefit from that next $61 billion in U.S. investment.

Pak Mahendra Siregar is guiding private sector representatives from both the United States and Indonesia to build on our investment ties. His leadership will be instrumental to advancing our shared investment priorities. During my tenure here in Indonesia I plan to get out of Jakarta and travel the country as much as I can. And I plan to invite along American companies to further strengthen the U.S.-Indonesia trade and investment relationship. With this expansion of service to 300 cities around the country, I am happy to say that HP appears to be ahead of the game. Warm congratulations again to HP for this important expansion that is being announced today!

man giving presentation