Manila. Amid the tight programs of APEC Summit 2015, Vice President Jusuf Kalla accompanied with Mrs Mufidah Kalla and some ministers had an opportunity to meet up with Indonesian citizens living in Manilla at New World Hotel, Makati, Manila, this evening.

“I am happy to attend this silaturahim (friendly meeting) with Indonesian people working and having lots of experience in Philippine,” said the Vice President.

According to him, Indonesia and Philippine have many similarities in culture and language, although Philippine is slightly more advanced than Indonesia.

At the meeting, Mr Kalla told the participants about the current condition in Indonesia, ranging from politics, economy, to security.

In general, he stated that Indonesia has advanced in many sectors, yet there are still challenges to tackle.

“Our economy, similar to many countries in the world, is slowing down due to the global economic crisis. Today, I delivered my speech at APEC Summit, encouraging APEC and ASEAN to work together to cope with this economic problem,” explained Mr Kalla.

He further added that due to the sluggish economy in some countries having been export destinations for Indonesia, the demand of some commodities from the country is also decreasing which in turn is impacting people’s income.

However, the Vice President said, to bolster economic growth, government is currently improving infrastructure, agriculture, and industry as well as inviting more foreigners to invest in the country. “I believe Indonesian economy will get better from time to time,” he affirmed.

Previously, at his report, Ambassador Lumintang said there are 9,076 Indonesian citizens living in Philippine, consisting of professionals, public and religious figures, and some 800 students.
Indonesia should be proud of as, based on data from Central Agency on Statistics (BPS) in 2014, from the trade between the two countries, Indonesia recorded a surplus of USD3.2 billions from the total trade value of USD4.6 billions. Commodities penetrating Philippine include coal, coffee, tea, instant food, and motor vehicles.