Mayor & Indonesian President build stronger economic ties

30 November 2014

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson today met the newly elected President of Indonesia, Joko Widodo to build stronger economic, business and education opportunities between Jakarta and London.

The Mayor is the most senior British politician to meet the new President here in Indonesia. Indonesia is currently the 16th largest economy in the world and expected to grow to 7th largest by 2030.

The Mayor is building on the UK-Indonesia bilateral agreement that provides a framework for greater co-operation on Foreign Policy, Trade and Investment, Sustainable Growth and Education, which was revived by the Prime Minister, David Cameron when he visited Jakarta in 2012.

Like London, Jakarta is dealing with an unprecedented population growth, and is the hub of Indonesia’s 245 million residents, 60 per cent of them under 30.

The Mayor is keen to explore greater opportunities for Indonesia’s 50 million students to study at British universities. Indonesia is the largest majority Muslim country in the world and the largest democracy in South East Asia. On 22 July, Joko Widodo won the Indonesian Presidential election. He is a popular politician, who was previously the Mayor of Solo, before becoming Governor of Jakarta.

Today the Mayor cycled with the President during Jakarta’s car free morning, which promotes cycling and walking on streets normally jammed with cars and takes place from 6am – 11am every Sunday. The Mayor took the route from the Senayan traffic circle on Jalan Sudirman to the President’s residence. The Mayor then spent an hour in discussion with the President over breakfast at the Presidential palace along with nine members of his business and trade delegation.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Jakarta is a dynamic city at the heart of one of the world’s fastest growing economies. I’m honoured to meet President Widodo today to discuss the challenges both our cities face in supporting unprecedented population growth and the demand for infrastructure, housing, and regeneration. I hope we can build on the existing partnership between our two countries and encourage greater bilateral investment and trade as well as encouraging more students in the Far East to consider furthering their education in the UK.”

The UK is one of Indonesia’s largest investors, with BP alone investing over £3.5 billion, whilst the expansion of Indonesia’s financial sector has created many opportunities for British companies. British football is hugely popular in Indonesia with millions of fans of London and UK clubs, whilst the UK is Indonesia’s third-biggest potato supplier.

European company Airbus recently won a £16bn contract with Lion Air - Indonesia’s largest carrier - to supply 234 single aisle jets, which will deliver 2,000 jobs at Airbus plants in Bristol and North Wales. Yesterday in Jakarta the Mayor held talks with Governor Ahok, the new governor of Jakarta. He also addressed a delegation of the countries business leaders at a British Chamber of Commerce event where he invited greater opportunities for British companies to work more closely in Indonesia.