On his first visit to the island of Kalimantan from April 21-23, 2014, Ambassador Blake led a diverse 10 member U.S. business delegation to Balikpapan for meetings with the Governor of East Kalimantan, the Mayor of Balikpapan, and the local Chamber of Commerce and Young Entrepreneur’s organization. Companies participating in the delegation included Caterpillar, Chevron, Emerson, FedEx, GlaxoSmithKline, Honeywell, and Johnson & Johnson in addition to two SMEs. The Ambassador also encouraged Indonesian firms to seek greater commercial partnerships with U.S. firms at an FCS-organized “Doing Business with the USA” seminar for members of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and the Indonesian Young Entrepreneurs Association. While in Balikpapan, the Ambassador also strengthened ties and raised public awareness on high-priority environmental issues such as climate change, biodiversity, habitat loss and wildlife trafficking.
Celebrating Earth Day with his first visit to a pesantren in Indonesia, Ambassador Blake discussed wildlife trafficking with hundreds of enthusiastic students, then concluded his trip with a visit to an orangutan rehabilitation center in Samboja Lestari Forest.