Dutch Deputy Ambassador: Indonesia Can Defeat U.S. and China

By Admin | 09 November 2021 22:11:28 | 170 | 0
picture by: tagar.id
picture by: tagar.id

Indonesia has a myriad of potential to develop its country, even able to defeat the United States and China if its potential is explored and managed properly. In fact, Indonesia's economic growth was able to reach 5% more, beating the Netherlands which is a developed country, which only grew by about 2%.


This was conveyed by the Dutch Deputy Ambassador to Indonesia Ferdinand Lahnstein at a dinner with journalists in Central Jakarta. The event was also attended by Dutch Ambassador to Indonesia Rob Swartbol and other staff.


In addition to discussing Indonesia's potential, he also discussed various other things including the progress made by Indonesia, bilateral relations between the two countries, and the issue of crude palm oil (CPO) which is being hotly discussed because it was boycotted by the European Union (EU).


Here's the full presentation:


About the potential of Indonesia


Indonesia can do a better marketing job because there is a lot to offer. They (Indonesians) are smart people. Indonesia has a very interesting development, go-jek examples don't exist in Europe, and there are many other examples that I can't mention. There's a lot of super interesting things about what's going on here.


The Dutch moved to Jakarta because they wanted to be part of the fight. Especially for the younger generation, they see things going on, there are a lot of start-ups, and also because there is still a lot of freedom, everything is regulated.


If you want to start a business, there are rules. With bureaucracy and regulation there can be a lot of things that can happen, but at the same time nothing can happen either. Many of us refer to Indonesia as a "rubber clock", but there is a lot to do when there is flexibility. It's the same when it comes to traffic. Congestion indicates that Indonesia is on the move.


For example, there is an underpass in Mampang that has been realized. Clover (road) traffic has been realized. We can't complain about how fast this is going. A lot of things happened. But maybe I'm too optimistic, but a lot of things are happening here. You have to learn to look at it from an Indonesian perspective.


When I visit Bali, there are many children playing chess on the street. But every time I play chess with little kids around 7 to 12 years old, they always win. That means maybe the standard of education is not as good as in Europe but Indonesians are smart. It's very interesting.


But the main point I want to make is that you have a better story to tell the international community. When people talk about the country of Indonesia, I see Indonesia more as a continent. If you look at Indonesia on the map, it's too long. So to keep the country together is a close task. That's incredible.


We are working with the presidential office, discussing agricultural policy because the president has an interest in agriculture. There is a reason why a country as small as the Netherlands could become the second largest exporter of agricultural products.


If we look at our land in the Netherlands, I think it's only half of Central Java. But we are the second largest agricultural producer in the world, behind the United States. How is that possible?


So there are people who ask how this can work in the Netherlands. So, the president went to talk to the Dutch Embassy about how it works so that we know how to govern our country. So everyone went to the Netherlands to find out about farming and work with the staff. Now we are in a project to train people in the agricultural sector.


But Indonesia is not using its full potential as an agricultural country. If Indonesia works with the Policy Officer of the Ministry of Agriculture, the people of the presidential office, Indonesia could become the world's largest exporter of agricultural products beating the United States. But Indonesia has to do something to make that happen. The potential is huge. There's a lot to achieve.


We are happy because our (economy) grew 2%, but Indonesia did not experience economic growth of 5.2%. So, if Indonesia struggles a little harder, then its economy will grow 6% to 7%, perhaps even beating China.


But India has a lot to do to make that happen. Indonesia must make the right policy, to make the structure of government right. There's a lot to do.


Regarding the prohibition of palm oil?

Our official policy line is that we don't believe in banning palm oil. So what we've done so far also within the EU has always taken the stance that banning palm oil won't solve the problem.


What we think is important is how not to deforest. Not doing deforestation has much effect on our climate change. That's our main goal. We have big concerns about the climate. And all the things that make climate change, we want to do something about it. We want to do something about deforestation.


We are also working very closely with the Indonesian government to make palm oil sustainable. Sustainable palm oil means that palm oil is produced in such a way that this action, as big an effect as possible into the environment, climate change, safeguards pristine tropical forests. That's what we want to do.


We have done many projects together with the government on sustainable palm oil especially for smaller business owners.


Yes, we did some projects in Sumatra with civil society, IDH, we are already working with SFE. We help farmers to learn more about this palm oil practice, agriculture, and what Indonesia will experience, so that those smallholder farmers get more out of their agriculture.


They can compete more with larger companies, get better prices. That's what we're doing and that's a big problem about replanting, replanting in Sumatra.


So, we're together with Rabobank. We're thinking with small business owners about how we can help you financially, also discussing it with the government, seeing how the government plays a role in this. So that's what we do for palm oil.


Basically it calms small farmers, empowers smallholders, and helps them organize themselves. We offer farmers in the Netherlands to work together.


The cooperation we have is to make all farmers connect with each other. First, this cooperation is for the benefit of small farmers invited by Indonesia who come from the Netherlands.


You know Frisian Flag? It's part of Campina. Campina is a big company. Frisian Flag and Campina are basically a partnership. So what you see is that cooperation can be multinational. Just like Rabobank. Rabobank is a famous Dutch agricultural bank. It's also a collaboration.


We fostered small business owners in the Netherlands and now they work internationally, so we believe such a business model can also work in Indonesia. So we're sharing experiences with more, we're trying to see how we can help and share, expand into those countries.


Does financial replanting mean financing?


We're not actually funding, we're replanting. We know that replanting is a problem, and the hardest part of replanting is financial replanting because it saves more money.


And we believe that there is an idea of a role for cooperation or for banking institutions, or governments to take this step. But the problem is how you can develop this model.


We know replanting to be interesting. Because why would you want to invest in this kind of knowledge? Since we believe that we help solve the problem of financial replanting, there is no need to cut down tropical rainforests.


It works against deforestation. That's why we stepped into it. We believe that if you look, it will tone the results you get in palm oil. So it's a big part of oil palm plantations that can produce more uses.


This is also the reason why we are helping oil palm farmers who are now farming, etc., because if the yield increases, there is no need to cut down pristine tropical forests. So that's the kind of thing we're working on with small cooperation, with the government.


You shouldn't use the word 'ban' for the director of renewable energy from the European Union and expart delegates because it's not about prohibition. But it's about setting limits on the use of vegetable oils at higher rates in the region.


So, we have to use a lot of vegetable oils for biofuels. You don't use that land (for oil palm land) anymore, (but it's diverted) for food production. So it's for food production. You have to look at the rules that we do in the EU.