Canadian business players are looking to the emerging economies of Southeast Asia for lucrative long-term investment opportunities—and Indonesia is leading the way.
The Canada-ASEAN Business Council (CABC) recently concluded its 3rd
Canada-ASEAN Business Forum. The event, which took place from September 7-8 in Jakarta’s Shangri-La Hotel, brought together over 250 business leaders and senior government officials from Canada and Southeast Asia.
The forum’s objectives included raising the profile of Canada in ASEAN, educating Canadian businesses about the numerous benefits that would stem from greater ASEAN economic integration, and providing a platform for senior executives from Canada and ASEAN to discuss business opportunities in both nations.
“Indonesia is the anchor country of the relationship between Canada and ASEAN,” CABC honorary chairman Jean Charest said during a press conference after the two-day forum.
Charest pointed out many of the factors that singled out Indonesia as a great investment opportunity, including its large population, abundant natural resources, and economic dynamism.
CABC president Wayne Farmer said that many Canadian businesses expressed strong interest in investing in Indonesia during the forum. Among the top industrial sectors deemed attractive to investors include infrastructure, environment management and services, and agriculture.
Asked about the challenges being faced by Canadian businesses looking to invest in Indonesia, Farmer emphasized that more work was required to help Canadian businesses identify the most viable opportunities in the country.
Canadian business players who conduct business in ASEAN often encounter significant challenges, such as the inconsistent enforcement of laws, difficulty in obtaining reliable and cost-efficient skilled labor, the preferential treatment of local companies, and widespread corruption.
Indonesian Ambassador to Canada Teuku Faizasyah said that his government was committed to tackling these issues, especially those related to corruption. The establishment of the Corruption Eradication Commission, a government agency tasked with fighting corruption, made it clear that the Indonesian government was serious about fighting corruption, he said.