Dodwell in iSOM Jakarta - Post 4

December 07, 2012

iSOM Opens in Jakarta


Yuri Thamrin, the senior Indonesian APEC official and our host

Indonesia’s foreign minister Dr Marty Natalegawa set the tone for the day when he opened the APEC iSOM in Jakarta: “Get the Bogor Goals done!”

He also set the tone for Indonesia’s hospitality by deciding that his welcome to APEC officials should not be at the JW Marriott ballroom where all of the other iSOM discussions were being held, but at the Gedung Pancasila, the historic Foreign Ministry building that was the site of the signing of Indonesia’s independence constitution in 1945. The setting was impeccable: a fine old colonial building set in soft green lawns with flame of the forest trees in flower all around.

What a pity though that we were all hauled out from the hotel at 7.30am to club our way through the rushhour traffic in a police-escorted bus cavalcade that took nearly an hour to reach the Foreign Ministry. Travel around Jakarta is really no joke: no wonder Indonesia’s third priority for the upcoming APEC year is “connectivity” – in particular investment in hard infrastructure. If you think Bangkok or Moscow street congestion is bad, try Jakarta. Almost any journey, no matter how far, is almost certainly quicker on foot – if only there were footpaths allowing you to do that.

The Foreign Minister also used the occasion to unveil the APEC 2013 logo – a strong bamboo bending against the force of a ferocious wind – to match the strapline defining the upcoming APEC year: “Resilient Asia Pacific: Engine of global growth”. 

Traditional Indonesian sweet rice and sweets


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