TAIPEI (Taiwan News) — Indonesia’s Bank Rakyat Indonesia (BRI) is due to become the first state-owned bank from the Southeast Asian country to open a branch in Taiwan.
Indonesia’s de-facto embassy in Taiwan signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with BRI at a ceremony held on Tuesday (Jan. 18) at the Indonesian Economic and Trade Office Taipei (IETO), at which officials discussed the significance of BRI’s entry into Taiwan.
Both the IETO and BRI representatives said they will cooperate in various ways to further promote Indonesian products in the Taiwan market, and enable greater exchange between businesses and people in both countries. The MOU stipulates the IETO will transfer large sets of market data it has collected on Taiwan’s market to BRI in order to enhance its effectiveness in delivering financial services in the country.
It is a milestone for the Indonesian community in Taiwan, which numbers roughly 300,000 people, Budi Santoso, Indonesia’s representative to Taiwan, said. This MOU is proof that IETO is ready to cooperate with any party for the progress of the Indonesian economy, especially Indonesia's exports to Taiwan, he added.
The establishment of the bank will also give Indonesians more options for remittance payments, Endry Supriadi, General Manager at BRI, said.
Not all hurdles have been cleared, though. BRI still needs to obtain a foreign exchange business license from Taiwan’s central bank.
“We are now in the second phase now and we may get it soon, maybe as soon as next month,” Supriadi said, saying the faster they get licensed the sooner they will start processing remittances.
BRI also aims to spur Taiwan's investment in Indonesia.
“Taiwan now is eager to invest in Indonesia, so we will look for the partners in Indonesia and support them,” Supriadi said. “Indonesia has a high yield for investment, compared with Taiwan,” he says, making it an attractive destination.
Supriadi talked up Indonesia's investment strengths, saying it has an enormous market with a stable economic outlook.
Though one of Indonesia’s largest banks, BRI focuses on serving the country’s many Small-to-Medium Enterprises (SMEs), with over 80 percent of its clients being SMEs from various industries. Serving SMEs is very profitable since they have higher yields, Supriadi says.
Taiwanese investors will feel they can easily relate to the business ecosystem because the country also has many SMEs, like Taiwan, he added.
At the event, the BRI head also bestowed an award on IETO Taipei for placing first in the Highest Referral Category at the "Brilianpreneur" contest. Indonesian representative offices from around the world joined in the contest to see which could refer more foreign business clients to the bank and stimulate investment in Indonesia.
An award was also presented to Sunrich Enterprise for coming in third place in the Highest Business Matching Activity category.
The BRI branch is located at No. 166, Section 3, Nanjing East Road, near Nanjing Fuxing MRT Station in Taipei City.