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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2002 > August

Remarks With Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Economics, Finance and Industry Kuntjoro Dorodjatun

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Ministry Of Finance
Jakarta, Indonesia
August 2, 2002

COORDINATING MINISTER DORODJATUN: A very good afternoon to all of you, ladies and gentlemen from the press. We have just completed, I think, almost half an hour discussion on the bilateral issues on the reforms. We focus on the four reforms, of course, the bureaucratic, the political, the economic as well as the most important, of course, the judicial reform. Finally, of course, everything has to be geared into what is going to really emerge in the economic recovery of Indonesia. We are grateful for that fact that in this difficult period of transition, the cooperation between the United States and Indonesia has been very good. We enjoy so much support that is provided to us in the discussion at the multi-lateral, regional, as well as the bilateral level. The focus is, of course, on again what can be done in the future. In particular, as we have to end the, of course, the system that we have been doing with IMF at the end of 2003, we would like very much to have something for 2004. But I believe that this will be discussed more intensively in the coming months everywhere, not just with United States, but with our many friends. Thank you very much.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you very much Mr. Minister. I am very pleased to be in Jakarta on my first visit here as Secretary of State. The United States and Indonesia are pursuing a wide range of important issues in concert. We are expanding and deepening our bilateral ties and our economic cooperation. And we are jointly contributing to the global fight against terrorism. We’ve just had a very good meeting with the Minister and his economic advisors and I commended the Minister for the positive steps that he and his economic team have taken toward economic and financial reform. Progress today, including the restoration and re-invigoration of relations with Indonesia’s international lenders, has strengthened the currency and Indonesia’s stock market. Millions of Indonesians have benefited as a result of these positive steps. That said, I urge that Indonesia redouble reform efforts in order to put the economy on a more sustainable long-term footing and we had a good conversation about this issue in our meeting. I told the minister and his colleagues that American businesses recognize the benefits of investing in Indonesia, but remain concerned about transparency in business and in the courts. Judicial reform is important, as the minister mentioned, is important, as is fighting corruption and strengthening the rule of law. All of these are crucial to increasing the foreign investment needed to sustain development and unleash the entrepreneurial spirit of the Indonesian people. The United States will continue to support Indonesia’s efforts to promote good governance in that regard. The United States supports Indonesia’s reform efforts in a number of ways. We are their largest export market. We have a big and dynamic foreign assistance program and American investors provide jobs for thousands of Indonesian workers. I look forward to seeing President Megawati later this afternoon to continue the discussions that began here with the minister and his colleagues this morning. Thank you very much.

QUESTION: Thank you sir, Bayusutiono, from SCTV, Indonesia. Mr. Secretary, you already visited some Asian countries before Indonesia. Did you find new facts about terrorism in Asian-region countries and in your opinion, has the Indonesian government done enough to combat terrorism here? Second question is, how far is the truth that the U.S. government plans to give the Indonesian government and military more than 16 million U.S. dollars to give more support for the Indonesian government and military here? Thank you very much.

SECRETARY POWELL: Thank you. In my travels throughout Asia, and especially at the ASEAN meetings in Brunei, I found strong support for the campaign against terrorism. I think all of the nations of Asia now realize that terrorism is not something that is just directed at the United States. All of us are subject to terrorist attacks, and have been subjected, and we have seen terrorist acts in the past. So, it makes sense for us all to work together to share information, to share intelligence, to capacity-build within each of the nations. That was the focus of the declaration we signed in Brunei yesterday, ASEAN plus the United States -- capacity-building, let each nation decide what it needs in order to improve its law enforcement or intelligence capability and let’s see what we can do, the United States can do, to help in that regard. But it is up to each nation to make its own determination as to what it needs, and then we can see how we can help them with that need. With respect to Indonesia’s efforts, we are very satisfied and pleased with what Indonesia has been doing since 9/11. As you know, President Megawati and President Bush stayed in close touch. They spoke on the telephone just last week. We think that more can be done and we’re exploring ideas between the two sides, as to how we can assist Indonesia in building up its capacity and taking action. With respect to various programs that we have been examining, military-to-military, in counterterrorism and other programs, the number you mentioned is not far off. I would put it at roughly 50 million dollars over a several-year period.

QUESTION: [Robin Wright, Los Angeles Times] Mister Minister, what specifically did you ask for from the United States. Secondly, what tangible difference do you think it will make in Indonesia’s ability to combat terrorism, and do you have any concern that these funds might divert what you need for development of Indonesia?

COORDINATING MINISTER DORODJATUN: Well, our discussions have been focused very strongly on development issues, in particular because we really have to decentralize the government very fast now. And so our concern is still basic education, basic health, basic infrastructure, but of course in the discussion on whatever that will impinge upon the expenditure for the military, as you realize in the Parliament, we do have initiatives undertaken by several commissions that would like to again review what had happened in the past. Of course, we would like to get it with these specific duties and tasks that have to be undertaken by the military in terms of how to, for example, be more forthright in meeting emergency issues for civilian problems and so on. And so, that is more or less, from my perspective. Thank you.

 



Released on August 2, 2002

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