people on the picture; Trade and Sustainability Council

Switzerland-Indonesia: Cooperation within the Trade and Sustainability Council takes concrete shape

Last Friday, the Second Annual Meeting of the Swiss-Indonesian Trade and Sustainability Council took place in Zurich. Under the leadership of economiesuisse and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry KADIN, its member organisations announced their priorities for 2023. The focus is on promoting sustainability projects in the areas of textiles, education and vocational training, natural ingredients in food production and infrastructure.

Last May, economiesuisse and the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry KADIN launched the Swiss-Indonesian Trade and Sustainability Council ("Council"). With it, an important forum in the bilateral relationship that facilitates cross-sectoral exchange on sustainability projects in the private sector has been created. About eight months after the launch of the Council, its member organisations met last Friday for the Second Annual Meeting.

Private sector as a key driver of sustainability

A total of around 30 high-ranking representatives from business, politics and administration took part in the event on site or virtually. On the Swiss side, top representatives from Swiss Textiles, Swissmem, Swisscontact and Switzerland Global Entreprise (S-GE) were present alongside economiesuisse Chairman Christoph Mäder. On the Indonesian side, various representatives of KADIN as well as the Indonesian Minister for Cooperatives and SMEs, Teten Masduki and the Vice-Minister for Tourism, Rizki Handayani took part. Finally, the ambassadors of both countries, Olivier Zehnder and Muliaman Hadad, attended the event and expressed their full support for the Council.

The Council was founded with the firm conviction that the private sector has a central role to play in the implementation of sustainability projects. Mr Mäder reminded the audience of this in his opening speech, pointing out the three dimensions of sustainability – social, ecological and economic. Now it is a matter of implementing these projects in concrete terms.

Projects in four focus areas

With the adoption of an ambitious working agenda, the Council has already started this implementation last year. Textiles, education and training, natural ingredients in food production and green infrastructure – it is within these four focus areas that the future work of the Council will be embedded. While in the textile sector, biodegradable material and the use of organic colorants are among the most important topics, solutions are being sought in the education sector on how Indonesian vocational schools can improve their cooperation with the private sector. The exchange of professionals from both countries is also to be intensified. Finally, in the infrastructure sector, sustainability projects in waste management and steel production are on the agenda. Possible synergies between the Swiss and Indonesian private sectors are also being explored in the area of local public transport.