Remarks by Ambassador Blake at East Bali Cashew Company, Bali

East Bali Cashew founder Aaron Fishman, Mr Steve Okun of Kohlberg, Kravis and Roberts, Honorable Representatives of the Governor, Bupati and other leaders, Sponsors, Ladies and Gentlemen,

It is a great pleasure for me to be here to help celebrate the expansion of the EBC processing facility and the inauguration of the early learning center.

This is a wonderful story of American and Indonesian partnership.  It shows the impact one individual, in this case Aaron, can have.  He came to this beautiful remote part of Bali, saw an opportunity to start Indonesia’s first facility for the processing of cashews, raised capital to start the business, and is now employing 215 people from this area, 85 percent of them women.  He has thereby brought prosperity, and investments in community, social, and human capital, to a region that is far from the gleaming hotels and prosperity of south Bali.

I am proud of the Fortune 500 and other U.S. companies who have made America Indonesia’s largest investor over the last eight years.  But I am also very proud of Aaron and all of you here today who have made this facility and childhood  learning center a reality.

I am so pleased to learn from Aaron that he plans to raise the productivity of cashew farms here and then create new processing facilities in other parts of Eastern Indonesia.  I congratulate all of you on your program and wish you continued progress.  Selamat sukses!  Terima kasih!