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USDA Acting Under Secretary Michael Scuse Leads Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission to Indonesia, Opens Food Expo

20 U.S. Companies Aim to Form Business Ties and Joint Ventures on Mission

  WASHINGTON, April 1, 2011 – USDA’s Acting Under Secretary for Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services Michael Scuse will lead 20 U.S. companies on an Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission April 4-7, 2011, and open the Food and Hotel Indonesia Trade Show in Jakarta, Indonesia, on April 6. Both events support the strategic priorities of President Obama’s National Export Initiative (NEI), a program intended to coordinate federal efforts to double U.S. exports by 2014 and create several million new jobs.

"Strong trade will be a key contributor to building a U.S. economy that continues to grow, innovate and out-compete the rest of the world," said Scuse. "As we set in place a framework for a robust future for the American economy, Indonesia will continue to be an important U.S. trade partner. In the past 15 years, agricultural trade between our countries has boomed—more than doubling in value. It is one of Southeast Asia’s fastest growing economies with a vibrant business climate and upwardly mobile, expanding middle class, providing opportunities to expand exports of U.S. food and agricultural goods and stimulate investment."

The U.S. companies on the mission are both large and small, representing the full range of food and agricultural products from bulk commodities to consumer-ready food products, as well as wood products, green technology, agricultural equipment suppliers, and transportation and logistics providers. These companies will meet face-to-face with as many as 100 Indonesian producers, importers, buyers, distributors, and investors to develop trade relationships, propose joint activities, and learn best practices for working with one another.

Food and Hotel Indonesia is celebrating its 11th year as one of the premier food, drink, and hospitality trade exhibitions in Southeast Asia, with 20,000 visitors expected. This year’s show, endorsed by USDA, features a U.S. pavilion that includes representatives from small and medium-sized food companies and agricultural trade associations. U.S. exhibitors will display a wide variety of agricultural products including eggs, meat, poultry, seafood, snack foods, wine ice cream and more.

A main component of the NEI is to help small- and medium- sized businesses with guidance and assistance on breaking into export markets. Despite recent gains, only 1 percent of U.S. companies export. Yet higher wages, rising populations and an expanding middle class are creating export opportunities for U.S. food and agriculture.

Exports of U.S. farm goods in fiscal year 2011 (Oct. 1, 2010 – Sept. 30, 2011) are projected to surpass previous records by $20 billion. The agricultural trade balance – a balance of U.S. exports versus foreign imports – is also projected to set a record surplus of $47.5 billion in 2011. Moreover, as every $1 billion in farm exports supports roughly 8,400 jobs in the United States, farm exports alone will support more than 1.1 million jobs in 2011.

Indonesia’s market-based economy grew by 6.1 percent in 2010 and is expected to grow 5 percent per year through 2014. In 2010, Indonesia bought $2.3 billion worth of U.S. agricultural, fish, and forest products, making it our ninth-largest market.

In November 2010, President Obama and President Yudhoyono launched the U.S.-Indonesia Comprehensive Partnership to broaden, deepen, and elevate the bilateral relationship. Through this Partnership, both countries are looking to expand trade, investment, and commercial relationships, creating tremendous opportunities for economic development and cooperation.

Further information about the Agribusiness Trade and Investment Mission is available at http://www.fas.usda.gov/icd/TIM/indonesia.

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FAS-PR-0061-11

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