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Contribution in the Business and Financial Sector

Tan was involved in building "start ups," which he usually left once the institution, private or government, was established. One of the problems that especially pribumi businessmen of the 1950s faced was the inability to raise capital. In June 1955, 31 people gathered at Tan Goan-Po's house in Jakarta, and agreed to found a commercial bank, later named Bank Niaga, to help provide credit for businessmen. Tan Goan-Po was among the first shareholders of Bank Niaga.

During the implementation of Indonesia's first affirmative action program, the so-called Benteng Program, the government attempted to speed up the development of the indigenous business class. Tan functioned as a director in the import-export firm N.V. Putera, a government creation as part of the Benteng Program.

Tan Goan-Po was the director of Indonesia Service Company, an automative assembly and service company, which became a symbol of national pride and a model for foreign investment due to its extraordinary success. The major shareholders were the American film producer Mathew Fox, the firm N.V. Putera, and Zorro Corporation. In 1951, as part of the Indonesianization process, Tan relinquished his position to Hasjim Ning.

In the Indonesianization effort, Tan Goan-Po acted as a consultant to Sudarpo Sastrosatomo during negotiations to take over the Dutch-owned firm Indonesian Shipping and Transport Agency in late 1952. Sudarpo later became the shipping magnate of Indonesia.