On the occasion of the 52nd anniversary of the Employers’ Association of Indonesia (APINDO), the Global Compact was launched in Jakarta on Saturday, 28 February 2004. The event was attended by representatives from Indonesian and international business, government, trade unions, donor agencies, and foreign embassies. The UN system was represented by Mr. Masayoshi Matsushita, Country Director of the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO), Mr. Alan Boulton, Director of ILO Jakarta, as well as by representatives of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP).
In his opening address, Mr. Sofjan Wanandi, Chairman of APINDO, stated that it was about time that APINDO as an employers’ organisation committed itself to the promotion of the Global Compact principles among the business community in Indonesia. He said that it was an important commitment of the organisation to show to the international world that Indonesian companies were eager to conduct their operations in compliance with the international standards of the Global Compact.
The launch started with a brief presentation of the Global Compact. Mr. Hari Prasetyo of APINDO’s Global Compact Committee outlined the nine principles of the Global Compact, the history of the initiative and the necessary steps to sign up to the Compact principles. Following Mr. Prasetyo's remarks, Ms. Martha Tilaar, CEO and founder of the Martha Tilaar Cosmetics Group, spoke about the business case for signing up to the Compact principles. The Martha Tilaar Group is one of only two Indonesian companies that have so far signed up to the Global Compact.
Ms. Tilaar stressed that joining the Global Compact Forum is a good opportunity to broaden business networks with other international companies and to learn about strategies to compete in the global market. She supported the launch of the Global Compact in Indonesia by APINDO and encouraged more Indonesian companies to sign up. She indicated that her group will work hand in hand with APINDO to promote the Compact principles and said she was very please to have “finally found business partners to help promote the Compact principles in Indonesia.”
Speaking on behalf of the UN agencies participating in the Global Compact, Mr. Alan Boulton, Director of ILO Jakarta, congratulated APINDO on the decision to promote the Global Compact in Indonesia. He said that the launch showed the willingness of the business community in Indonesia to take the Global Compact a step further and to use it as a vehicle for partnerships to make a contribution to sustainable development. He also commended Ms. Tilaar for championing the efforts to promote the Global Compact principles in Indonesia and invited other business people to follow her example.
As reported in the local daily Jakarta Post, the country's business community welcomed the launch of the Global Compact by APINDO. The paper quoted one businessman from East Kalimantan who said: “I think it's going to be a long haul to establish all of the principles. We still have yet to resolve unemployment problems, not to mention legal uncertainties and low productivity. It's a good effort, though, and I think it definitely requires more campaign efforts in the regions."
Concluding his address, Mr. Wanandi appealed to all members of APINDO to help promote the Compact principles in their undertakings and encouraged the Indonesian business community to sign up to them. He said that APINDO’s Global Compact team would familiarize the business community with the Global Compact through training and educational workshops, and act as a facilitator, motivator and advisor. He also called for government efforts in improving the business climate for the implementation of good international business practices.