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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs        31 January 2011

Indonesian goods are low-profile

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President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is seeking to promote the country's products more, after learning at a recent economic forum that many traders are still unfamiliar with Indonesian goods.

"I met members of the international business community this morning and most of them said they didn't know much about Indonesian products," he said at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

"They knew more about Indian and Chinese goods," the president added.

Yudhoyono said his focus at the meeting was to attract investments and boost the country's image.

"The more they know about Indonesia, the more eagerly they will want to have a partnership with us," he said.

"Let the world know that we need improvements. Some of [the problems] are real and some are still to be solved," Yudhoyono said.

Developed countries, he said, offered lucrative business opportunities and Indonesia was considered a top investment destination after China and India.

Foreign businessmen, he added, were aware that the country posted the region's third-best economic growth.

"Many of them who had already made an investment told me to add more business," he said. "And there were those who were not yet serious about coming to Indonesia to make deals. I responded well if they would benefit us."

He said he told world leaders and prominent entrepreneurs that the country had solved problems, especially in terms of the business climate, law enforcement and corruption.

As the Asean chairman, Yudhoyono also said it was his responsibility to extol Southeast Asia's contributions to the world economy. "I have a moral responsibility to tell the world that Indonesia and the Asean are developing as good business partners," he said.

Indonesia took over the Southeast Asian association's rotating chairmanship this year.

Yudhoyono said he looked forward to the East Asia World Economic Forum to be held in Indonesia in July, since it "would bring more benefits to the country by expanding international business as well as investment."

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