German Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle is hoping to forge stronger economic and bilateral cooperation with Indonesia when he visits the country on Sunday and Monday, a diplomat said on Thursday.
Heidrun Tempel, the deputy head of mission at the German Embassy in Jakarta, said that economic cooperation was high on the agenda.
“There are so many things that the government of Germany wants to discuss, such as economics, business, education, investment and of course economic growth in Indonesia,” Tempel said.
Westerwelle will also give a joint presentation with Indonesian Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan at a business luncheon.
As Germany’s traditional European trade partners undergo yet another year of economic gloom, emerging economies such as Indonesia appear more attractive.
To underline the importance of business and economic cooperation, during the visit the minister be accompanied by 10 chief executives of leading German companies.
Tempel said that the business captains wished to see for themselves the investment prospects in the country, adding that Indonesia is already a popular investment destination.
“We don’t know about the amount of investment, but all the CEOs are still looking at and observing Indonesia. If they are interested, they will commit,” Tempel said.
During his stay in the country Westerwelle is scheduled to hold talks with his Indonesian counterpart Marty Natalegawa, and Le Lung Minh, secretary general of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations.
Chatib Basri, chairman of the National Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), will also meet with the chief executives.
Tempel said that cooperation between Germany and Indonesia was already strong, with Indonesia the third largest destination country for German investment overseas.
Indonesia and Germany also have strong education ties, with many Indonesian students and academics studying in Germany.
Among the CEOs visiting Indonesia are Mansour Hamsa from consultant firm Fichtner, Michael Jungnitsch from technical service and consultancy firm Asien TUV Rheinland, Achim Klein from electronics and radio communications company Rohde und Scwarz Vertriebs and Reinhold Kudielka from Bendalis, a medical equipment company.
Also coming are Marc Lohoff, chief executive for Conergy, a solar energy firm, Peter Meinshausen from chemical and medical company Evonik Sea, Ghunter Mull the head of Dermalog Identification Systems, which deals in fingerprints, Harold Plob of certification agency Plob and Co., Thomas Schmies of Ara Shoes and Frank Tscherney of steel firm Johannes Hubner Fabrik Elektrischer.
President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono is scheduled to visit to Germany next month, accompanied by an Indonesian business delegation.
The German Embassy said that bilateral trade grew by nearly 9 percent in the first 10 months of 2012. In 2013, eight German business delegations are scheduled to visit Indonesia, primarily small and medium sized entrepreneurs.
Westerwelle’s visit will begin in Central Java at the Borobudur Buddhist temple, where he will meet United Nations officials and representatives of the Borobudur Conservation Office. Germany contributes to conservation efforts there.