Minister Airlangga Hartarto said cooperation between both sides would a positive matter for the economy because the jewelry & ornament contributes significantly to the Indonesian economy as it is a labor-intensive industry and generates plenty of foreign exchange earnings.

He added that Indonesian jewelry & ornament products are attractive for Swiss watchmakers because the quality and competitiveness of these Indonesian products are good. In the 2011-2016 period, Indonesian exports of jewelry rose by an average of 16.85 percent per year. In full-year 2016 Indonesia shipped a total of USD $5.34 billion to overseas destinations.

Based on the latest data (2015) there are 36,636 Indonesian jewelry and accessories companies active in Indonesia, employing 43,348 people, and generating USD $3.31 billion in foreign exchange earnings. Nearly all of these companies are small and medium-sized companies.

This commitment between Switzerland and Indonesia is part of a bigger commitment between both nations to boost economic cooperation in the 2017-2020 period. On Friday (14/07) the Swiss government pledged to provide a total of 75 million Swiss francs (approx. USD $77.5 million) for grants, technical assistance and capacity building in Southeast Asia's largest economy in the four-year period, primarily for sustainable tourism and vocational skills development.

Johann Schneider-Ammann was in Jakarta last week for a two-day visit. During this visit he also inaugurated the Swiss Business Hub (located at the Swiss Embassy in Jakarta). This new institution aims to help companies and investors from Switzerland to access Indonesia. Based on data from the Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), Switzerland was the 15th largest investor in Indonesia in the first quarter of 2017, investing a total of USD $45.8 million. Last year, Swiss companies invested USD $346.7 million in Indonesia, a whopping 460.6 percent increase from investments one year earlier.