The UK and Indonesia are looking to strengthen ties between the two, and perhaps to make Indonesia the UK’s strategic partner in the next 10 to 20 years. Edward Oakden, the managing director of UK Trade&Investment recently told the Jakart Post that, “We want to look at how we build up our relationships because we see Indonesia over the next 10 to 20 years as becoming one of our important partners in Southeast Asia and the world. You have become the third-largest democracy and the largest economy in Southeast Asia. We want to be a strategic partner with you.”
Oakden has been in Indonesia this week with a UK business delegation that is led by Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills. They are looking for ways to initiate new partnerships both in education and infrastructure.
Trade Ministry Director General for International Trade Cooperation Gusmardi Bustami said, after the meeting between Indonesian and UK delegates that,” I think we have the same spirit and positive engagement.”
During their meetings, Indonesia raise concerns about the Indonesian Sustainable Palm Oil (ISPO) certification and about some of the policies that make it difficult for exports of Indonesian goods to be made. The UK also expressed some of their frustrations about the 75% foreign ownership cap in pharmaceutical companies in Indonesia and other problems.