SBY Meets with Lagarde and Merkel to Discuss the Eurozone, and further IMF and German Bilateral Relations with Indonesia
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On the 10th July 2012, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono met with two of the G20s powerful women, Christine Lagarde, Managing Director of the International Monetary Fund, IMF and Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel in Jakarta just hours from one another.
Meeting with IMF Chief Lagarde, President SBY wore a brown suite and gold tie and enjoyed open and frank discussions thrrough the morning. Among the elements discussed were commendations of the Indonesian economy, particularly its score card, after performing its regular chapter 4 review. Its fiscal health, Debt to GDP ratio, inflation rate were solid. Infact Lagarde conveyed her respect to SBYs success in slashing debt ratio from 80% in 2004 to 24% in 2011, a bold move which most Eurozone countries could follow. SBY reminded that his economic policies after 8 years of leading the country had seen the great need for special emphasis on social protection and financial inclusion. And to this, Lagarde concured with SBY the value empowering the poor through micro finance schemes and promised to look into the matter with relevant banking auuthorities.
SBY conveyed to Lagarde his commitment to continue playing an active role in stabilizing the global economy, including the support of the role of the IMF. On the matter of Indonesia depositing a billion dollars for the IMF, she explained that it was the commitment of the G20 and also the right of any of 180 IMF member countries to continue strengthening the IMFs financial strengths, as an emergency fund for poor and developing countries, if the should need it. Lagarde also commended SBYs way of handling the issue of fuel subsidies and a substitute for other subsidies. This transparent approach by Indonesia was seen as one of the best examples in the world in addressing both economic and social needs.
A New German Indonesian Strategic Economic Alliance
Later in the day, President SBY also received good friend, Chancellor of the German Federation, Dr Angela Merkel at the Independence Palace.
Chancellor Merkel had flown out of Berlin only to meet with President SBY, a close friend since 2007 and after attending 7 summits of the G20 and both posessing similar views on sustaining healthy fiscal policies.
The special visit had produced the Jakarta Declaration of Indonesia German relations, a Strategic partnership that alloww greater partnership of governments and business sectors. With an agenda of 5+3, which were trade and investment, health, education, research and development, and defence, and additional three on food security, energy security and transportation.
During the bilateral discussions, SBY conducted a number of four-eyed discussions. Not only on bilateral economic relations, Merkel discussed the issue of religious harmony which Indonesia was doing so much, especially in keeping the Unity of the country.
SBY also discussed the regional economic situation, where he expressed and confidence that Germany and other European countries will resolve the EuroZone situation.
A Special Lunch of SBY Merkel at the Oasis Restaurant, Cikini
On 11th July, accepting the invitation of Chancellor Merkel to join her for a special joint chamber of commerce lunch (by KADIN and ECONID), SBY also became a guest of honor at the Oasis Restaurant. At that historic venue, both leaders dared the business community to explore opportunity of the Jakarta Declaration. President SBY stated that there were three kinds of investors in Indonesia, first is the "always waiting investor", second was the reckless irresponsible investor, and third, the calculating and commited investors. President SBY believed that germans were the third type, calculating and deeply committed to succeeding business in Indonesia, where they will partner with not only their business counterparts, but also governments too.
Upon completing the joint lunch, President SBY and Chancellor Merkel both journeyed to Halim Perdana Kusumah Airbase. One flying to Magelang, the other returning back to Berlin within minutes of each others plane takeoff of 1400 hours Jakarta time.
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