IPA success illustrated by high turnout

The 33rd Indonesian Petroleum Association conference and exhibition is now over. One should take one's hat off to the annual event, because despite the global financial crisis, the number of participants was not fewer but actually increased.

"The conference and exhibition was attended by over 2,000 participants, including domestic and foreign oil and gas companies, operators, representatives of foreign chambers of commerce, ambassadors, government officials, local and foreign students as well as lecturers," chairman of the convention committee Ananda Idris said on May 13.

He said that during the global economic downturn, events in other countries, such as conferences and exhibitions, saw a downturn, but that was not the case with the event organized by IPA.

"We were really surprised and proud of this. At the time when the oil price has drastically dropped, participants at our exhibition actually increased," he said.

He also said that it was a record-breaking event for IPA as more than 2,500 people attended the opening ceremony, while the total number of visitors as well as participants for the entire conference and exhibition was 3,500.

The international event with the theme "Managing Resources and Delivering Energy in a Challenging Environment" was officially opened by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and ran from May 5 through May 7.

Just like in the previous conferences and exhibitions, this time local and foreign students, especially from oil and gas and geological faculties, actively participated.

"This is in accordance with IPA's mission in relation to the transfer of knowledge, skills and technology in the oil and gas field," said Ananda.

Besides being volunteers, he said, the students will also participate in scientific presentations. Interested students received a 90 percent discount on the entrance fee.

"Some companies will use the convention as an opportunity to seek employees, who will be directly given a test at the event location," said Ananda.

Meanwhile, Energy and Mineral Resources Minister Purnomo said at the closing ceremony that the government had a responsibility to create a good structure for the rapid development of Indonesia's oil and gas industry.

"I have asked my staff to sit together with the stakeholders to find out about their viewpoints and to get their input," he said.

The Indonesian government presently has two important missions: To create a good investment climate for investors and to take care of people's welfare. Although sometimes contradictory, both missions have to be implemented simultaneously. He said that during the event, the government had received lots of input on the development of confidence building measures, which is expected to trigger further progress in this sector in the near future.

"We believe that increased efforts in this sector will benefit all of us," said Purnomo

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