Mpumalanga forging ties with Indonesia
Indonesian small business - a model for Mpumalanga
In January this year Mpumalanga Province Premier David Mabuza proclaimed that a 'journey has begun' with Indonesia during a meeting with Ambassador Sjahril Sabaruddin who was on a fact finding mission looking for opportunities to increase bilateral trade and investments.
In July 2011 from 10-15 the door-opening mission by MEC Norman Mokoena of the Department of Economic Development and Tourism (DEDET) Mpumalanga, to Indonesia, was facilitated by the Diplomatic & Executive Networking Centre(DENC) in collaboration with the Indonesian Embassy in Pretoria.
This marked the beginning of a journey of cooperation between the province and the archipelago nation.
MEC Mokoena was accompanied by a team of senior managers from (DEDET) as well as from the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA).
The support and exponential growth of the small business sector (SMMEs) is a key focus in the creation of jobs in Mpumalanga in line with the national priority.
The Indonesian SMME sector, which produces 53% of Indonesia’s GDP, provides a great opportunity for Mpumalanga to emulate this successful Indonesian model.
The delegation inspected the product display gallery at the Ministry of Cooperatives’ Small and Medium Enterprises (SMESCO) in Jakarta and discussed technical cooperation in setting up a similar facility in Mpumalanga. They also concluded an agreement on an SMME business exchange program.
The transfer of agri-processing technology to Mpumalanga province and participation at the Agrinex expo in March 2012 was dicussed at Perfomax, the event managers of several trade shows in Jakarta.
Internships for emergent farmers and assistance for the formulation of co-operatives in line with the rural development program was the focus of MEC Mokoena’s meeting with the directors of Karya Nyka Farmers Training Centre.
600 000 people are employed at The Jababeka Industrial Zone.
The industrial complex accomodates over 1000 multinational and local corporates, a dry port, its own water purification and electric power generation plants.
The managers of Jababeka were invited to Mpumalanga to explore opportunities and inspect sites for the establishment of industrial parks.
A special “Indonesia South Africa Business Seminar” was held at the Chamber of Commerce and Industry in Jakarta for MEC Mokoena and his team.The seminar was well attended by business representatives and associations from all sectors of Indonesian business.They are keen to exchange ideas that lead to opportunity for business development and cooperation.
Governor Alex Noerdin of South Sumatra Province conducted enthusiastic discussions with MEC Mokoena.He dispatched 21 officials from various departments to a technical meeting to structure an agreement which will pave the way for the Premier to sign a sister province agreement between Mpumalanga and South Sumatra later this year.
A visit to the Koperasi Simpan Pinjam Kordit Rukun, a cooperative in Palembang was a clear indication of a country’s economy reaching all levels of society.
It highlighted the key role of cooperatives in the creation and distribution of wealth particularly among small business enterprise and paved the way for technical exchanges in setting up cooperatives.
by Kirtan Bhana
see 'Photo Gallery' for photos