Press Conference at Vice President Boediono's Office
Under Secretary for Political Affairs
(TVRI) Question: [Inaudible]
Under Secretary Burns: Well, I think as the Indonesian economy has grown and as it continues to grow, I think there are increasing opportunities for foreign investment, particularly for American investment here. Many American companies are quite interested in the potential of the Indonesian economy. Already you see some in the area of trade and commerce, the sale of Boeing aircraft, and other kids of increases in trade, but I think there’s great potential in the future to expand investment, particularly as Indonesia improves its investment climate, strengthens the rule of law, the kind of things that any investors, whether they are American or any kind of foreign investors pay close attention to. So I think it is an area of our relationship that can expand over the next few years and so when we talk about comprehensive partnership between our two countries we want that to be more than just nice rhetoric. We want it to be about concrete achievements in the areas of the economy and education and in many other areas as I mentioned before.
(ANTV) Question: Why the emphasis on… [inaudible]
Under Secretary Burns: I think corruption is a challenge that is not unique to Indonesia. I mean we face it in the United States. We certainly support the efforts of the government to fight corruption. It is very much in its self-interest for Indonesia to do that because corruption often functions as a kind of tax, especially on small businesses and it makes it harder to grow and modernize the economy. So it is very important to overcome those challenges and we will continue to be very supportive of efforts to do that.
(ANTV) Question: [inaudible]
Under Secretary Burns: As I said, we think it is in the self-interest of Indonesia to fight against corruption and to overcome that kind of problem. That opens up progress in that area, opens up more possibilities for economic growth for Indonesia, and it attracts more kinds of foreign investments. So I think the benefits of fighting corruption are obvious and they are most important for Indonesians themselves. Thank you very much for the afternoon.