Milestones, openness and Indonesia Inc. take to the stage in Shanghai

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First strike: Indonesian delegation, represented by among others  (from right to left), Indonesian Ambassador to China Imron Cotan, Trade  Minister Mari Elka Pangestu and Coordinating Minister for the Economy  Hatta Rajasa play a gamelan music instrument to officially open the  Indonesian pavilion at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai on Saturday. –  JP/Primastuti Handayani

Padang ekspres net-First strike: Indonesian delegation, represented by among others (from right to left), Indonesian Ambassador to China Imron Cotan, Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu and Coordinating Minister for the Economy Hatta Rajasa play a gamelan music instrument to officially open the Indonesian pavilion at the World Expo 2010 in Shanghai on Saturday. – JP/Primastuti Handayani

The Komodo dragon, the Borobudur temple and the open air food and beverage area serving traditional food are among the features showcased at the Indonesian pavilion that was officially opened here Saturday.

Indonesia’s participation in the five-yearly world expo is its second after New York in 1964. This time around in Shanghai the country is proud to show how it has moved away from decades of autocratic rule, becoming a beacon of democracy and emerging as one of the most resilient economies in Asia.

“The Expo is looking to draw 70 million visitors so it provides a great opportunity for Indonesia to boost its branding,” Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu, who also chaired Indonesia’s executive committee for the expo, said.

Mari said that in line with the expo theme of Better City Better Life, Indonesia defined “better life” as harmony among different ethnic groups, living based on innate cultural heritage while constantly moving forward by living in democracy and modernity.

“We are showcasing our democracy and the progress that we have made in political, economic and cultural aspects in the past years. This is a massive PR event to boost the good side of the country,” she added.

Coordinating Economic Minister Hatta Rajasa said in his opening speech that Indonesia’s participation in the expo served as a promotion venue for trade, tourism and investment, as well as to showcase Indonesia’s role in the world.

Among Indonesia’s main objectives in the expo, he said, was improving bilateral trade relations with China, which, according to the Central Statistics Agency, stood at $25.5 billion in 2009. Hatta said he hoped bilateral trade could reach $50 billion by 2014. China is currently Indonesia’s third-largest export destination.( The Jakrtapost.com)

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