CAUSINDY 2014: Transforming the relationship: towards trade, investment and business ties

As the Australia-Indonesia relationship shifts away from aid and development, and as the Asia-Pacific region continues to prosper, it is inevitable that business ties will take a bigger place in the spotlight. We will see closer collaboration between large Australian and Indonesian businesses, penetration of SMEs, and investors on the hunt for opportunities. However, entrepreneurs in both countries believe it is still difficult to convince individuals to invest across the border, find the right talent and cut through the red tape.

The next generation needs to understand the investment climate, bilateral trade opportunities, and cultural nuances of doing business in both countries. This cannot be taught at universities and can only come from substantive, on-the-ground experience and learning from those that have experience in the field. Simon Collier Dixon, Director of Astra International, one of Indonesia’s largest conglomerates, believes the relationship is not where it needs to be and doing business across borders is difficult. Young professionals need to begin engaging early to create long-lasting friendships which are important in business relationships. Simon will be sharing his experiences as keynote speaker at the CAUSINDY gala dinner.

When Tommy Tjokro of Bloomberg TV Indonesia realised how vibrant the Indonesian economy was becoming, he jumped on the opportunity to immerse himself in the investment opportunities. Tommy will be moderating the Economics and Trade panel, discussing the next growth drivers, how the government and private sectors can collaborate more closely, and how business will be pursuing these new opportunities.

Sinthya Roesly, Chief Executive Officer of the Indonesia Infrastructure Guarantee Fund (IIGF), works at the heart of the partnership between government and business and is responsible for developing an area which is critical to Indonesia’s growth – infrastructure. Sinthya will provide her views on the investment climate and how public-private partnerships can be scaled up by collaborating more closely with technical advisers like Australia.

The big Australian businesses in banking and mining have already made headway in Indonesia, while real estate and agriculture are trending business areas among Indonesia’s elite in Australia. The next step is getting small-medium enterprises to engage in the bilateral relationship by finding new markets and leveraging talent. The first step is creating a positive regulatory environment in which these businesses can grow. This is something that Sati Rasuanto, Managing Director of Endeavor Indonesia, is passionate about. SMEs provide people with jobs and will help transform Indonesia’s economy from low productivity industries like agriculture to higher value-add services like e-commerce and technology. In addition to her current role at Endeavor, Sati will be drawing on her previous experience as Chief of Staff to Gita Wiriyawan. As part of CAUSINDY’s political debrief panel, she will be talking about the policy decisions the incoming government needs to make to foster this growth.

As the bilateral relationship is slowly finding its feet, moving away from aid and development towards commerce and trade, we need to ensure that skills, understanding and experience continue to grow. The next generation should be able to understand how to engage in long-term, sustainable business partnerships and this year CAUSINDY will provide 30 young delegates with that opportunity.

Karina Akib, Co-Founder and Director

Karina currently works in Jakarta as an Associate for Boston Consulting Group. She is passionate about social entrepreneurship and prior to joining BCG, she led a product launch at Jakarta based social business RUMA which uses mobile phone technology as a tool to develop the livelihood of individuals at the base of the pyramid and also lead business development as a Director at the Inaugural Global Social Change Film Festival in Bali.