Gov. Togiola meets president of Indonesian
JAKARTA, Indonesia – Governor Togiola Tulafono, on a one-week visit to Indonesia, met with President – His Excellency Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono this past Tuesday.
At the meeting in Jakarta, President Yudhoyono commented on the success of the Indonesian economy. The US and Indonesia are, respectively, the third and fourth most populous countries in the world. Indonesia is an emerging economic powerhouse itself, growing over six percent per year in 2010 and 2011.
President Yudhoyono told Governor Togiola the Indonesian government plays a significant economic role in the Pacific Asia region. Economic development based on fisheries diversification, tourism, e-commerce, and manufacturing are all major considerations for countries seeking favorable access to US markets.
Governor Togiola said American Samoa is favorably disposed to foreign investment, especially related to the industries that were mentioned by President Yudhoyono. Governor Togiola discussed American Samoa’s relationship with the US which makes it a relevant partner for Indonesia.
At the conclusion of the meeting the President announced the construction of a basketball court as a gift to the children of American Samoa.
While in the Indonesian capital, Governor Togiola met with Foreign Affairs Minister Dr. Marty Natalegawa, where discussions included import and export of goods to the Territory.
During the meeting Governor Togiola indicated his interest in shipping and export from Indonesia to American Samoa due to increasing costs of goods and commodities shipped from the US.
Minister Natalegawa reported on the Indonesian Government’s great trade relation with the US Government and welcomed American Samoa as it is relevant to their trade agreement. American Samoa was invited to participate in areas of development, such as technical assistance in agriculture and fisheries, tourism development, education and homeland security, particularly in the areas of disaster preparedness and resiliency.
“I wish to acknowledge with gratitude the need to carefully structure these relationships on the perimeters of the excellent Indonesian-United States relations,” said Governor Togiola. “Minister Natalegawa further suggested the possibility of exploring partnerships with some of the countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) that they work with, since Jakarta is the home of the ASEAN secretariat. I am very thankful and I have expressed and acknowledged with gratitude the possibilities of such extension of this relationship.”
Governor Togiola said Minister Natalegawa further recommended the establishment a Score Card for the parties in order that the issues in the joint agenda are identified and progressed.
Furthermore, Governor Togiola said both leaders want to explore the possibility for manufacturing using American Samoa’s unique relationship with the US that enables goods and products to enter into the US market duty-free.
Minister Natalegawa suggested advising the US State Department regarding the contents of their discussion in his meeting which will be held in Bangkok in November. Both leaders agreed to continue dialogue in the future and to set a time table for follow up on the issues to ensure their timely progress
Governor Togiola will return to American Samoa on October 25.