(Washington, DC) – Today, the US-ASEAN Business Council celebrated both the start of H.E. Mahendra Siregar’s tenure in Washington, D.C. as Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the United States, and successful completion of Indonesia’s April 17 election, where nearly 155 million people, or almost 81 percent of the eligible population, voted simultaneously for the first time for five different levels of government, including for positions of the President and in national Parliament.
“Yesterday, Indonesia accomplished an historical step forward for democracy, overseeing unprecedented voter turnout to successfully hold the world’s largest direct presidential election across 17,000 islands and over 800,000 polling places. Preliminary counts indicate another five years under the leadership of President Joko Widodo who has successfully moved major infrastructure projects, including the just-opened Jakarta subway, and the Indonesian economy forward, while welcoming American trade and investment,” said Alexander Feldman, President and CEO of the US-ASEAN Business Council. “And today, the day after these landmark elections, we welcome Ambassador Siregar’s arrival. With 2019 marking the 70th anniversary of U.S.-Indonesia diplomatic relations, there could not be better timing for Ambassador Siregar’s return to Washington, nor could there be someone more qualified for the economic, trade and commercial challenges of the role. Ambassador Siregar’s unparalleled experience in diplomacy, trade, finance and investment will undoubtedly be key in unlocking the still largely untapped potential for growth in U.S.-Indonesia economic relations and trade.”
Ambassador Mahendra Siregar was inaugurated by President Joko Widodo, as the 19th Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia to the United States on January 7. Ambassador Siregar presented his credentials to U.S. President Donald Trump ten days ago on April 8. This will be Ambassador Siregar’s second residence in Washington, D.C. in his diplomatic career, having served the Indonesian Embassy in Washington, D.C. as a Counselor from 1998 - 2001.
Previously, Ambassador Siregar has held roles including Chairman of Indonesia’s Investment Coordination Board (BKPM), Vice-Minister of Finance, Vice-Minister of Trade, Chairman and CEO of Indonesia Eximbank, and Deputy Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs as well as Executive Director of Council for Palm Oil Producing Countries and Advisor to the Minister of Foreign Affairs. In the private sector, Ambassador Siregar was a member of the board of directors in a wide range of corporations covering a variety of industries.
Representatives from the U.S. Government, ASEAN Embassies and American private sector were present to mark the occasion. US-ASEAN Business Council Members that sponsored the event were BP, Sampoerna, UL, Chevron, Citi, ConocoPhillips, and Freeport-McMoRan.