Indonesia at the Forefront of New Regional Services Organization

Jakarta, 7 September 2015

Indonesia at the Forefront of New Regional Services Organization

Cebu City, the Philippines, September 7th 2015. Indonesia is at the forefront of a new region-wide business grouping it helped form this week in the Philippines to promote the development of the services sectors in the APEC region.

Services organizations from APEC economies, including the Indonesia Services Dialogue, agreed to establish the Asia Pacific Services Coalition at a meeting alongside the APEC Structural Reform Ministerial Meeting in Cebu earlier this week.

The initiative to establish the new business Coalition came from Indonesia. It was first promoted by the Indonesia APEC Business Advisory Council (ABAC) members and the Indonesia Services Dialogue in APEC 2013 and the idea was taken up by ABAC and the Philippines Government as the Chair of APEC 2015.

“The new Asia Pacific Services Coalition is now the world’s largest services organization and will help the APEC region move forward with a stronger services agenda,” said Jane Drake-Brockman, Senior Advisor of the International Trade Centre at the announcement.

The services sectors form an increasingly important part of the Indonesian economy, according to the Indonesia Services Dialogue. Services make up about 51 percent of the Indonesian economy and they are the fastest growing sectors. The services sectors are also the biggest employer providing 43 percent of total employment.

The Executive Director of the Indonesia Services Dialogue, Sinta Sirait, said this week that the Asia Pacific Services Coalition would provide a platform for dialogue, cooperation and identifying new business opportunities for Indonesian business and their counterparts in the region.

“We need to grow our services sectors and make them more efficient in order to boost our competitiveness in services, and in manufacturing, agriculture and the small and medium business sector which are all users of services,” Sinta Sirait said.

“We still have a lot of work to do to boost our services sectors, and sharing ideas on best practices with others in the new Coalition will help us identify ways to develop pro-growth regulation, boost skills and innovation and to develop our services trade and investment,” she said.

The Chair of the APEC Business Advisory Council in Indonesia, Wishnu Wardhana, who has strongly supported the initiative within ABAC over the last two years, said, “This is an important development arising from Indonesia’s APEC Chairmanship in 2013 and we are very grateful that the Philippines has brought it fruition.”

“There is no doubt that the services sectors will be a key driver of growth and development for Indonesia in coming years and we must be proactive in our approaches to building stronger, more business and consumer friendly services.”

“It is vital for us to develop good cooperation between government agencies and business in Indonesia and with our partners in ASEAN, APEC and the rest of the world to develop the necessary policy improvements for services growth and competitiveness otherwise we risk falling behind,” said Wishnu Wardhana.

“The Indonesia Services Dialogue and the new Asia Pacific Services Coalition give us the opportunity to do this,” he said.