Indonesia Courts State for Business Deals
Morrow, Darrell, THE JOURNAL RECORD
Indonesia wants to do business with
Oklahoma and the United States. It
wants to increase both import and export
business and entice tourists to Bali and
the other "wonders of Indonesia."
That was the message throughout an
Indonesian trade forum hosted by the
Oklahoma Department of Commerce
Monday at the Waterford Hotel.
A trade delegation of about 30
Indonesian government and business
people arrived in Oklahoma Sunday at
the end of a four-city U.S. tour and will
begin the return trip to Indonesia today.
Specific product areas that the Indone-
sians would be most interested in
importing from Oklahoma are some of
its high-tech manufactured products and
beef breeding stock to improve and
enlarge its livestock herd, said Abdul
Rachman Ramly, Republic of Indonesia
ambassador to the United States.
"We are interested in improving the
nutrition of our people, and having meat
certainly is important to that," he said.
Ramly said Indonesia has had a
special kinship with Oklahoma for many
years because the economy of both
formerly was based heavily on oil and
gas production. Like Oklahoma, it has
been forced to diversify its economy due
to changes in the world petroleum
marketing system. The economy has
reversed from being made up of 60
percent oil and 40 percent other indus-
tries in the early 1980s to 40 percent oil
at present, he said.
Ramly formerly was president of the
Indonesian National Oil Co. before
becoming ambassador. He recalls a visit
of a delegation of 20 Oklahomans led by
Secretary of Commerce Don Paulsen to
Indonesia. Some of those Indonesian
government officials Paulsen met on that
trip were in the delegation visting
Many Indonesian petroleum engi-
neering students have been and still are
being sent to Oklahoma State University
and schools in Tulsa to study and earn
degrees. Ramly said he also had been to
Oklahoma State University.
Indonesia uses a flight simulator for
pilot training which was made in Tulsa.
He said his country will be a customer
for more similar high-tech equipment
from Oklahoma in the future.
Social and cultural aspects of doing
business with Indonesia and other
AESAN countries (Indonesia, the Philip-
pines, Malaysia, Thailand and Singa-
pore) was emphasized during the trade
"You need to be patient, have
perseverance and be imaginative to do
business in Indonesia. This should be a
two-way traffic of trade. One-to-one
business contact is very important to us.
The personal contact is still very good.
After we know each other better,
business will be better," said Dr. J.
Soedradjad Djiwandono, Indonesia&
Junior Minister of Trade.
He said Indonesia has had no foreign
exchange control since 1968.
"Indonesia is a country with an open
economy . . . You don't have to report
the amount of exchange (money) you are
carrying in or carrying out of the
country. In the United States you have to
report more than $10,000. We are more
and more open, and our economy is
more and more export," he said.
"We are the fifth largest nation in
population, about 185 million people.
We are depending more and more on the
export growth . …