Remarks by Ambassador Blake at East Java Governor’s Office, Surabaya
Governor Soewarko and distinguished delegates,
I am delightful to be here in East Java with a delegation of US businesses. This is the 6th of these that I have led. We have also had the opportunity to have delegations visit Medan, Balikpapan, Batam, Jogjakarta, and Makassar. We are here because East Java one of most economically vibrant regions of Indonesia, it boasts good ports and other infrastructure, and it has plentiful human resources.
The US is celebrating this year our 150th anniversary of relations. We hired an American businessman in 1866 to manage our commercial affairs and relations have prospered since. Many U.S. companies already do business here: Citibank, Cargill, Monsanto, ExxonMobil, DuPont, Dow, Coca Cola, and many others. Many others have headquarters in Singapore, but have invested and do business here.
The delegation I am leading today consists of 23 premier U.S. companies interested in wide range of sectors.
Let me express my appreciation for the hospitality and business-friendly attitude of Governor Soekarwo and his team.
Our visit is part of a wider strategic effort to expand trade and investment between the United States and Indonesia. Last October President Jokowi and President Obama met in Washington. They agreed to elevate our relations to a strategic partnership and the US welcomed President Jokowi statement that Indonesia intends to join the Trans Pacific Partnership.
We also commend President Jokowi’s efforts to diversify Indonesia’s economy and make it more competitive. Indonesia’s intention to join TPP will add further impetus.
So let me again thank the Governor and his team for their hospitality. We look forward to meeting with business counterparts and exploring how we can work together to expand trade and investment ties between our two countries in this vibrant region.