Manila. At the ninth session of APEC CEO Summit 2015 held at Shangri-La Hotel Makati, Manila, led by Richard Quest of CNN International Business Correspondent, today Vice President Jusuf Kalla had an opportunity to express his thought and answer questions from the leaders of some leading companies in Asia Pacific attending the event.
To the vice president, the essence of APEC is cooperation in economy, business, trade, and investment. “That is why we need to understand one another and join efforts to develop such cooperation,” he said.
Mr Kalla said there will certainly be competition among countries particularly in trade sector. “We need to preserve the peaceful condition even if we compete one another. That is what cooperation means,” he explained.
Asked of how to integrate and balance between cooperation and competition, Mr Kalla said that the economic growth of a country is indicated by job opportunities. He admitted there is a dilemma between free trade and job availabiity.
“Jobs are important as they are related to the basic need of the people to make a living. We are not against free trade, yet we have the responsibilty to create job opportunities,” he said.
When asked about the possibility of Indonesia to join Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), the Vice President said government is studying the impact, either positive or negative, of joining in the pact. However, he highlighted that TPP could be a trigger to make cooperation in trade and investment among Asia Pacific countries more efficient.
Regarding China which is emerging to be a new economic power, Mr Kalla saw it as something that should be appreciated as China had developed earlier its trade and economy and thus had been able to develop its political power.
“Only countries with big power in economy will be powerful in politics, as the economic power will improve the military power and eventually the political power,” he argued. Countries with a very stable economy, he added, would be able to maintain their political stability.
Richard Quest then asked the Vice President of the difference between business and politics as he is known to be highly involved in business before being a politician. “In business, we put targets before the procedures. On the contrary, procedures are far more important for the government. I combine both, that is making focused targets and simpler procedures,” replied Mr Kalla.
At the end of the dialogue, asked of take-home message he would deliver to the world CEOs attending the session, the Vice President smilingly yet firmly said, “Please come (to invest in Indonesia).”