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Singapore, Indonesia plan to set up bilateral business platform

SINGAPORE and Indonesia are looking to establish a bilateral business platform, which would allow companies on both sides to interact regularly and build familiarity with each other. This will be led by the Singapore Business Federation (SBF) and Kadin, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

The move was announced on Friday in a joint statement by International Enterprise (IE) Singapore and SBF, following the conclusion of a business mission to Jakarta and Semarang, Indonesia, with Minister of State for Trade and Industry Teo Ser Luck.

Said Mr Teo: "(Indonesian officials) responded positively to the proposal for such a private sector-led platform and for the government to play a facilitative role. This will make business-to-business collaboration more systematic, provide businesses with more detailed insights on key projects of interest to Indonesia, facilitate identifying potential partners, and help resolve any difficulties faced by companies."

He added: "The sheer size of Indonesia in population and geography presents opportunities for Singapore SMEs, whose growth in Singapore may be constrained by land, manpower and cost issues."

The business delegation to Indonesia involved 25 Singapore companies, most of which were small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It aimed to engage and get a sense of the new administration's economic priorities.

During the visit, top Indonesian officials highlighted opportunities for Singapore firms to contribute to Indonesia's development, particularly in the areas of water, waste management, power, transport and urban development.