Pennsylvania this week became the first state to open a trade-based office in Jakarta, Indonesia. The Department of Community and Economic Development’s (DCED) new center will provide support and resources to business throughout the state looking to develop viable international markets and increase sales.
As part of the DCED, the Office of International Business Development operates 22 offices around the world serving more than 60 international markets, making it the most comprehensive state-sponsored export assistance program in the United States. Wilfred Muskens, Deputy Secretary of International Business Development, said the DCED examines new markets each year that offer opportunities for further growth.
“Indonesia is one of the large, emerging markets. It’s one of the largest countries in the world in terms of population, it’s a country with a very young population, a country with a very high economic growth rate in the last couple of years—more than six percent annual growth—which is something we could only dream of in most mature economies,” Muskens said.
The Jakarta office will provide a variety of services to strengthen bilateral trade and investment between Indonesia and the U.S. including customized business partner searches, tailored appointment schedules, and in-country logistical support for business trips, trade missions, and trade shows.
Muskens said funding for the office came as part of a special project through a cooperative agreement with the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA). “Last year, we got $1.7 million from the SBA for our program and this year we go $2.3 million from the SBA, which is for our entire proposal. Now, this Indonesia office is only a very, very small component of the overall proposal,” Muskens said.
The office’s employees will be local to Jakarta so that they may quickly establish networks and relations with Indonesian business partners.