What Jokowi Want during US visit

JAKARTA. Cabinet Secretary Pramono Anung says issues surrounding the work contract between Freeport McMoran Copper & Gold Inc., which operates the world’s largest gold mine in Grasberg, Papua, and the Indonesian government will not come up in discussions when President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo visits the US from Oct. 25 to 30.

“Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Sudirman Said cancelled his departure; so, there is no more speculation [on possible discussions about Freeport],” he said as quoted by kompas.com on Sunday. The Cabinet secretary spoke to journalists at Halim Perdanakusumah Airport in East Jakarta on Saturday evening.

Pramono said that during his US business trip, President Jokowi would visit both the western and eastern parts of the country. In the east, President Jokowi would meet with US President Barack Obama, members of the US Congress, ministers and lobby groups to discuss the roles Indonesia and the US could play in the world.

“Surely, issues related to cooperation between the two countries in the fields of politics and the economy, as well as the signing of agreements in defense and security, will also be parts of the talks in the meetings,” said Pramono.

In his visit to the western parts of the US, he added, President Jokowi would visit Silicon Valley to meet with business players involved in digital technology and the creative economy, including the CEOs of several technology companies like Apple, Google and Microsoft.

“So, the President will have two types of visits, namely formal and informal, in the US. This is just like what we want, in which in the US the President will not only have a state visit, but also discuss problems related to the development of our digital technology and creative economy,” said Pramono.

He added that the President wanted people living in villages across Indonesia to understand and be involved in the use of digital technologies.

“Our villages minister [Villages, Disadvantaged Regions and Transmigration Minister Marwan Jafar] will follow up on the talks. Google has been willing to help us [to expand digital technology use],” he said.

Pramono went on to say that there was quite a huge amount of village funds that could be used to expand access to digital technology. He said that was why President Jokowi wanted to use his US visit to specifically explore opportunities to boost villages’ knowledge and interest in digital technologies.

Pramono said that in his US trip, President Jokowi was accompanied by a delegation of digital technology and creative economy developers, such as the founders of mobile-application-based motorcycle taxi company Go-Jek, local e-commerce giant Tokopedia and Indonesia’s largest online forum Kaskus.

“They are young entrepreneurs who are creative in digital technologies and the creative economy. That’s why they are involved in this US business trip, so that they can have more knowledge and understanding of the businesses because Silicon Valley has an increasing international influence,” said Pramono.

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