22 September 2016, Cikarang, www.thepresidentpost.com – President University & Ministry of Economic Affairs Taiwan Signing Memorandum of Understanding (MOU).
As investment climate in the People’s Republic of China is becoming less favorable, the ASEAN member states will be both of the Asia factory and future market benefits, as the world dynamics regional economy.
Thus, a growing number of Taiwan businesses mostly in manufacturing and services sectors have adopted or consider an “ASEAN Strategy”, in order to attract more incoming foreign direct investment (FDI).
For more than 10 (ten) years active foreign investment in Southeast Asian region, most Taiwan companies consider to invest, increase presence or explore closer cooperation in ASEAN countries; high percentage of companies expect business to increase in the future when the ASEAN Economic Community 2015 (AEC) is realized by all states and government leaders regionally; urge the government to adopt a more aggressive business approach in promoting strategic economic relations with ASEAN countries.
The attempts of Taiwan to increase relations with Indonesia have been conducting since many years ago both through formal and informal channels. Cases through formal channels like the Taipei Economic and Trade Office’s (TETO) operation and Lee Teng-Hui “diplomatic vacation” in 1994 have exemplified the efforts. On the other hand, informal channels are built upon Taiwan scholarships, conferences and academic exchanges of visit. It has been done by President University for last 3 (three) years and implemented through signing of Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Chairman of President University Foundation, Mr. George Hadi Santoso and the Representative of the Ministry of Economic Affairs of Taiwan, accompanied by the Chairman of the Taipei Economic and Trade Office’s (TETO) Representative in Jakarta, Indonesia, on 22 September 2016. The event was attended by Rector of President University, Dr. Jony Oktavian Haryanto, the Deans Faculty, the Heads of Program, 150 students and 50 Taiwan businessmen and entrepreneur.
Mr. S.D. Darmono, as the Founder of President University, and also the Founder of Indonesia and Taiwan Business Council (ITBC) as one of Taiwan major non-profit organization, concern and has given full support and valuable assistance cooperatively for the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin Indonesia) and Taipei Economic and Trade Office (TETO) Representative in Jakarta, Indonesia. Mr. Darmono has visionary strategy to realize how Taiwan business and entrepreneurs can build closer economic relations with Indonesia small and medium enterprises (SME) in the context of ASEAN Single Market and Asia Pacific Free Trade Area 2020.
However, although Taiwan has been showing a serious interest to increase the improvement relations with Indonesia, the rise of the China phenomenon has created a barrier to these efforts. This situation makes formal channels between Taiwan and Indonesia challenge to upgrade significantly through “Contact Taiwan” links (www.contacttaiwan.tw).
Meanwhile, Taiwan also establishes informal relations particularly with the academic institutions through scholarships, conferences and academic exchanges of visit, those attempts still do not bring about significant results. The focus of Taiwan government seemingly is still on how to maintain this informal relation by establishing closer cooperation with Indonesia institutions, but it arguably overlooks the resource of Indonesian students in Taiwan. Currently, there are at least 8,000-10,000 Indonesian students studying on various programs in Taiwan. These students come from diversified backgrounds, ethnicity and professions all over Indonesia.
* Reported by Hendra Manurung/Lecturer of International Relations – President University