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Corruption an issue in Indonesian market

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Latest Political News | Monday April 16 2012 6:53

Corruption an issue in Indonesian market


New Zealand businesses wanting to push their way into the ever-expanding Indonesian market are faced with one big issue -  systemic corruption.

John Key is leading a trade mission to our closest Asian neighbour this week, trying to push what New Zealand has to offer.

As more and more businesses, from geothermal science to tourism, test the market, they're faced with a number of challenges.

Mr Key admits corruption is one of these, especially for New Zealanders who aren't used to it.

"I think they have to work very hard to get around those issues here in this market, but I think it's acknowledged as an issue that takes place in certain parts of the world."

John Key says it's a case of having to build strong relationships.

Trade Minister Tim Groser is also on the trip and says Indonesia has gone from being a "basket case" in 1967 to an emerging world power today.

He says we must grab on to the monster opportunity offered to us.

"Going into Indonesia at a poignant point of change, and this will have enormous implications for Australia and New Zealand."

Our exports to the country have doubled in recent years and the government wants us to cash in on Indonesia's significant growth.

Mr Key says there are many opportunities for us in the education, tourism, and food and beverage sectors … and that's not all.

"Geothermal energy - for instance Mighty River's on the trip with us at the moment. I think there are about 30 sites they arguing might be potential development sites in New Zealand, there are about 1000 in Indonesia."

Concerns about human rights abuses will also be on the agenda, but it’s not at the top of the page.

While it's moved from a dictatorship to a democracy within a short period of time, there are still concerns about human rights abuses in West Papua.

Mr Key says when he meets with the President and Vice-President tomorrow, he'll touch on the issue.

"New Zealand's a country that's got a very strong record on human rights, we expect every person in the world to be treated fairly and to be treated in the way which we would treat fellow New Zealanders and that's our expectation in Papua."

The official visit starts today, with John Key set to speak to New Zealand and Indonesian business leaders.

He landed in the muggy Jakarta heat last night to be greeted by a billboard welcoming him to the country on his first official state visit.

Soon after touching down he played golf with the Indonesian trade minister before attending a BBQ at the New Zealand ambassador’s residence.

Today he'll spend the day speaking to business leaders and pushing the benefits of increasing two-way trade between our nations.

Image: The billboard that greeted Mr Key on arrival in Jakarta (Supplied)

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