Indonesian head of delegation and an ambassador from Ministry of Foreign Affairs Raudin Anwar has said his country's target is to increase Pakistan-Indonesia bilateral trade volume by $9 billion in 2019. "Indonesian and Pakistani economies have all ingredients to prosper together," he said, speaking at a meeting of Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
Led by Ambassador Raudin Anwar, Indonesian delegation comprised of Jhony Siburian, Director at the Indonesian Investment Board and representatives from Adaro Energy, Global Feed and Indonesian Exim Bank. Anwar introduced them to the KCCI members. He said they all are prominent companies with strong footprints in Indonesia and international markets.
He said that time has come now to capitalize on the progress Indonesia and Pakistan have made in the last five years. He said the two countries should take next steps to improve bilateral trade.
"The business community of Karachi should not only explore the business prospect of their products to service their companies' needs, but also the role they can play in the growth together," he said.
He told the KCCI officials and members that they had travelled from Jakarta to update them on Indonesia as well as new opportunities in trade and investment for them. He said that is why Indonesian delegation takes on board both government officials and business people.
Anwar was of the view that Pakistan and Indonesian economies and businesses would be better positioned in the today's highly-competitive world if they collaborate.
He said Pakistan is an economy with considerable strength and growth. He noted that many observers from abroad look at Pakistan's economy and wonder if it is becoming "one of the South Asian tigers. He said that for a number of reasons, he thinks that would be very likely. From that standpoint, he said, we can clearly see the enormous business opportunities that are present in both economies.
Indonesian diplomat requested Karachi Chamber to extend strong support for enhancing trade and investment as this is the only way for progress, for mutual benefits and prosperity.
Indonesian Foreign Ministry's representative was fairly optimistic that business community of Karachi would finally work together with Indonesian businesses.
He advised KCCI representatives to share business ideas and lead the way. "We at the Ministry are more than happy and ready to help you finding Indonesian business partners to complement your success," he said.
KCCI president Junaid Esmail Makda, in his welcome speech, said that Karachi, which is the economic hub of Pakistan, offers profitable investment opportunities and added facilities for investment and joint ventures to investors from Indonesia. "With improved law and order situation and after completion of China-Pakistan Economic Corridor and Gwadar Port, this region is likely to attract substantial amount of foreign investment from different parts of the world whereas Indonesia can also benefit from the situation by investing or undertaking joint ventures in Pakistan, particularly in Karachi," he said.
As far as relations between the two countries are concerned, he said, Pakistan-Indonesian relations are particularly special, founded on common mutual religious outlook. The bilateral trade between the two countries is heavily in favour of Indonesia. In 2017, Pakistan exported goods worth $241 million to Indonesia against $157 million in the preceding year depicting a surge of 53.6 percent. The increase in exports was mainly attributed to higher exports of citrus fruits, cotton, iron and steel. On the other hand, Pakistan's imports from Indonesia stood at $2.4 billion in 2017 as compared to $2 billion in 2016, showing an increase of 18.8 percent, he noted.
Makda said there was a huge potential for further enhancing bilateral trade relations.
"Pakistani leather manufacturers can explore Indonesian market to import cheaper skins and hides," he said, adding that the two countries can also enhance their bilateral trade by exchanging commodities whereas the Halal Food industry also holds great potential for increase in trade.
He underscored that the Karachi Chamber wants to promote business, mutual understanding and friendly relations between Pakistan and Indonesia. We also want to promote Indonesian investment in Pakistan and do everything for the development of Pakistan-Indonesia business cooperation, he emphasised. Appreciating Indonesia's constant participation in 'My Karachi Exhibition' since its inception in 2004, he invited Indonesian business community to participate in the 16th My Karachi - Oasis of Harmony Exhibition which is scheduled to be held in April 2019.
Later, speaking at a meeting of Korangi Association of Trade and Industry (KATI), Raudin Anwar said that Indonesia would export LNG to Pakistan and willing to invest in energy sector. He said many Indonesian investors are willing to establish industry for Palm oil derivative product in Pakistan.
He referred that both countries had agreed to expand bilateral trade volume.
He further said that fruit, seafood and tourism were the sectors having much potential to expand trade and bring people closer. He noted that Pakistan and Indonesia shares many industrial grounds so they can offer technological assistance to industry and training to manpower of Pakistan.