Islamic Development Bank Group strengthens presence in Indonesia

Updated 05 January 2015
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Islamic Development Bank Group strengthens presence in Indonesia

Islamic Development Bank (IDB) Group has opened the new Country Gateway Office in Indonesia.
The IDB Group decided to launch its Country Gateway Office in Indonesia, following the signing of the bank group’s host country agreement in February 2013.
Prof. Bambang Brodjonegoro, minister of finance of Indonesia, and Ahmed Mohamed Ali, president of the IDB Group, hosted the inauguration ceremony.
Indonesian ministers, ambassadors of IDB member countries, high-level government officials, private sector representatives, country representatives of international institutions and eminent personalities attended the event at Hotel Indonesia Kempinski, Jakarta.
In his speech, the president of the IDB Group expressed his appreciation to the government of Indonesia for facilitating the opening of the IDB’s Country Gateway Office in Jakarta.
He expressed his hope that the bank group’s office will strengthen ties and collaboration between the IDB and Indonesia. 
Leveraging on its key strengths, the IDB Group Country Gateway Office will serve as a platform for all entities of the IDB Group to effectively implement projects and programs, expand cooperation in Islamic financial products and services, trade and project financing, and technical and advisory services, both in public and private sectors.
The office will also result in more effective management of the IDB Group’s portfolio in Indonesia and for generating more business opportunities particularly in transportation, energy and public-private partnerships.
During his address, the finance minister said that the Indonesia Country Gateway Office will be the IDB Group’s second establishment after Turkey, and it constitutes a renewed commitment to Indonesia as one if its founding members.
The opening of the new office coincides with the start of the new government, with new initiatives and programs on how to deliver more prosperity to the people of Indonesia.
He was confident that the Islamic Development Bank Group will take advantage of this opportunity by enhancing its engagement with the new government and aligning its cooperation strategy with the government current development priorities.

Furthermore, he expressed his delight that the Bank has recruited a number of local staffs to support the operation of the office.
This approach is greatly appreciated by the government since it will open new opportunity for local talents to contribute actively in one of the most renowned Islamic financial institution in the world.
Prof. Bambang Brodjonegoro and Ahmad Mohamed Ali inaugurated the Country Gateway Office and also took the opportunity to visit the new office premises for cutting of the ribbon.
Located in the Office8 building, Sudirman Central Business District (SCBD), the IDB Country Gateway Office in Indonesia will have international and local staff representing all IDBG entities.
The office will be headed by Ibrahim Shoukry, resident representative of the IDB Group, who comes with vast exposure of the bank’s operational activities and with over 23 years of experience in the private sector.


Merkel seeks united front with China amid Trump trade fears

Updated 22 May 2018
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Merkel seeks united front with China amid Trump trade fears

  • Merkel seeks common ground to ward off trade war
  • Plans complicated by US policy moves

Chancellor Angela Merkel visits China on Thursday, seeking to close ranks with the world’s biggest exporting nation as US President Donald Trump shakes up explosive issues from trade to Iran’s nuclear deal.

Finding a common strategy to ward off a trade war and keep markets open will be Merkel’s priority when she meets with President Xi Jinping, as Washington brandishes the threat of imposing punitive tariffs on aluminum and steel imports.

“Both countries are in agreement that open markets and rules-based world trade are necessary. That’s the main focus of this trip,” Merkel’s spokeswoman Martina Fietz said in Berlin on Friday.

But closing ranks with Beijing against Washington risks being complicated by Saturday’s deal between China and the US to hold off tit-for-tat trade measures.

China’s economic health can only benefit Germany as the Asian giant is a big buyer of Made in Germany. But a deal between the US and China effectively leaves Berlin as the main target of Trump’s campaign against foreign imports that he claims harm US national security.

The US leader had already singled Germany out for criticism, saying it had “taken advantage” of the US by spending less than Washington on NATO.

Underlining what is at stake, French Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire warned the US-China deal may come “at the expense of Europe if Europe is not capable of showing a firm hand.”

Nevertheless, Merkel can look to her carefully nurtured relationship with China over her 12 years as chancellor.

No Western leader has visited Beijing as often as Merkel, who will be undertaking her eleventh trip to the country.

In China, she is viewed not only as the main point of contact for Europe, but, crucially, also as a reliable interlocutor — an antithesis of the mercurial Trump.

Devoting her weekly podcast to her visit, Merkel stressed that Beijing and Berlin “are both committed to the rules of the WTO” (World Trade Organization) and want to “strengthen multilateralism.”

But she also underlined that she will press home Germany’s longstanding quest for reciprocity in market access as well as the respect of intellectual property.

Ahead of her visit, Beijing fired off a rare salvo of criticism.

China’s envoy to Germany, Shi Mingde, pointed to a “protectionist trend in Germany,” as he complained about toughened rules protecting German companies from foreign takeovers.

Only 0.3 percent of foreign investors in Germany stem from China while German firms have put in €80 billion in the Asian giant over the last three decades, he told Stuttgarter Nachrichten.

“Economic exchange cannot work as a one-way street,” he warned.

Meanwhile, looming over the battle on the trade front is another equally thorny issue — the historic Iran nuclear deal, which risks falling apart after Trump pulled the US out.

Tehran has demanded that Europe keeps the deal going by continuing economic cooperation, but the US has warned European firms of sanctions if they fail to pull out of Iran.

Merkel “hopes that China can help save the atomic deal that the US has unilaterally ditched,” said Die Welt daily.

“Because only the giant emerging economy can buy enough raw materials from Iran to give the Mullah regime an incentive to at least officially continue to not build a nuclear weapon.”