Remarks by H.E. Paskah Suzetta State Minister for National Development Planning Republic of Indonesia at the Closing of the 3rd Asia-Pacific Business Forum. Jakarta, Indonesia, 8 April 2006

 4/9/2006

 

Excellencies,

Ladies and gentlemen,

I am delighted that we have reached the end of the 3rd Asia Pacific Business Forum  with many subtantive results. It has been a very productive forum with intense deliberations among our region’s captains of business and industry, government officials and members of academia as well as civil society.

I am heartened by the level of enthusiasm and commitment demonstrated by all participants within the sessions of this forum. This atmosphere was extremely conducive for the convening of discussions leading the way to reach public-private partnerships, as an important component of development, in the Asia-Pacific region.

Allow me to share with you a pertinent observation of mine. The meetings of the leaders of the public and private sectors, supported with contributions of key intellectual figures and prominent members of our civil society, have underscored for me the inevitability of partnerships between these sectors as a key element in forging sustainable development for us all.

The partnerships, that I am referring to, consist of interactions at the governmental level, between governments and businesses and most importantly between business and business.

I am looking forward to witnessing the results of our forum be transformed into concrete actions. This can be done through the implementation of relevant plans of action and initiatives. I would like to reiterate the hope of esteemed colleagues to bring about an Asia-Pacific model of the UN Global Compact, to complement global endeavors as well as to strengthen regional efforts to realise the MDGs in our region by 2015.

Ultimately, I think the public-private partnerships will pave the way for a dynamic synergy between the goals of sustainable development and the interests of business.

Ladies and Gentlemen,

Several deliberations of this forum have been highly inspiring. Let me now express my opinions on some of the most pertinent findings.

On infrastructure, I welcome proposals calling for the creation of enabling environments to  promote public-private partnership at all levels. The realisation of these proposals are to enhance active participation by all relevant stakeholders in infrastructure development, including those in rural areas.

I also endorse the implementation of infrastructure development policies and strategies taking into account safety and environmental concerns as well as geographic characteristics, including viable maritime infrastructure, to ensure sustained socio-economic and civic viability of infrastructure.

Furthermore, recent tragedies within our region have underscored our vulnerability to natural disasters that can reverse the progress in infrastructure development and poverty reduction. In this regard, I wholeheartedly encourage regional efforts to meet the challenges that are brought about by this situation and to mitigate its devastating impacts.
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Now, I would like to talk about Corporate Social Responsibility. It is a two-way process that is dependent on all actors involved, both governments and businesses.
Government should actively advance principled corporate practices and promote accountability and transparency. Moreover, the private sector should adopt responsible business practices that integrate the target of sustainable development with profit-oriented goals.

Through responsible business practices, business is making a unique and significant contribution to implementing the Millennium Development Goals. Private enterprise is at the heart of growth and development. By taking a principle-based approach to business, companies can help to ensure that sustainable development is achieved and that the benefits of globalization are shared more widely. Business leaders have a collective interest in promoting the development agenda across industries, both from an economic and a moral perspective.
Since the UN Global Compact's inception, business has been encouraged to take action in support of UN goals. The most significant contribution of the private sector to the MDGs is to invest and to be successful, and to do so in a socially and environmentally responsible manner, thereby creating enormous social benefits, including employment and income.
In a nutshell, my point is that sustainable development is good for business: it creates for a more robust market with the potential to continuously boost the economy.
Hence, I again call for the development of a region-wide Asia Pacific Global Compact.

Another issue discussed in this forum that I consider important is our partnerships with our friends in the Pacific.

I underline that our partnerships must be committed to giving the Pacific Islands every opportunity for capacity development to realize their full potential, including forging closer Pacific-Asian trade and investment relations.

We would like to extend our strong support for the implementation of the Pacific Plan for Strengthening Regional Cooperation and Integration, which has been launched by the Pacific Island Forum. It is a noteworthy step toward improving the benefits of globalization, stimulating economic growth, sustaining development and good governance, and enhancing security of the Pacific countries. 

Ladies and gentlemen,

I would like to emphasise that the Government of Indonesia unwaveringly endorses the initiatives put forward by the august participants of this forum. Accordingly, we are comitted to the fulfilment of these initiatives within our region. I stress that our commitment is based on our sincere wish to better the lives of the people in the Asia-Pacific region.

With that note, I declare the 3rd Asia-Pacific Business Forum closed.

I thank you.