Out of the woods

From next year, Europe will be able to feel confident that Indonesian timber is harvested legally and sustainably.

This week, Indonesia’s trade minister, Gita Wirjawan, will arrive in Europe to press the case for more trade with all member states of the European Union. As part of Indonesia’s forestry business sector, with over $9 billion (€6.8 billion) in exports annually, the organisation I represent wholeheartedly supports Wirjawan’s initiative.

For European companies, Indonesia represents a substantial and growing opportunity at a time of deep economic crisis. Indonesia is the largest economy in south-east Asia, with gross domestic product (GDP) in excess of $1 trillion (€750 billion). Annual GDP growth reached 6.5% at the end of 2011. We have a thriving consumer economy, which offers great prospects for everyone from makers of smart-phones to automotive brands and plane manufacturers.

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