APEC Forum Drives Business Agreements Between US and Indonesia

Colleagues giving a fist bump

With a background in Asia extending more than a half-century, Harvey Goldstein leads PT Harvest International and consults on business, trade, and technology, in countries ranging from Singapore to Indonesia. Quoted in the New York Times, Harvey Goldstein was a close observer of a 1994 agreement between Exxon Corporation and Indonesia’s national oil corporation, Pertamina, to develop one of the world’s largest deposits of offshore natural gas.

Forged after the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation (APEC) forum, the agreement was described as involving investment in the $35-$40 billion range. The long term project would require eight years before coming on stream, with gas sales contract terms be determined.

The deal was among 17 projects involving US companies that were agreed upon during the APEC meetings, which President Bill Clinton attended. Others ranged from aquatic weed harvesters for cleaning waterways to building a coal-fired power plant.

With the 18 APEC members’ declaration to develop a free trading area by 2020, Mr. Goldstein described the forum as being stronger on “atmospherics” than on “take-home value.” However, the positive working relationship fostered by the American President’s visit to Indonesia was vital in providing opportunities that American businesses could leverage.

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