FAISALABAD: Annual bilateral trade between Pakistan and Indonesia is expected to surge to $9 billion by 2019, said Indonesia Ambassador Iwan Suyhdhie Amri.
Talking to industrialists, he said Indonesia was probably the only country that was making serious and practical efforts to balance bilateral trade with Pakistan.
In this connection, a project is in the pipeline to introduce cultivation of high-yielding palm plants in addition to establishing refineries to clean palm oil produced in Pakistan for meeting domestic needs.
“Pakistan is a big market for Indonesia, but we are also making efforts to encourage exports from Pakistan to Indonesia to balance our bilateral trade,” the envoy added.
“Both countries had already agreed to encourage exports from Pakistan and now we are in the process of fixing standards for export commodities including mango and kinnow.”
He was hopeful that Pakistani mangoes and kinnows would be sold on Indonesian stalls next year. Apart from this, a memorandum of understanding has already been inked to enhance export of Pakistani rice to Indonesia.
Speaking on the occasion, Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) President Shabbir Hussain Chawla stressed the need for encouraging private sectors of both countries to further enhance bilateral trade.
In this connection, the two countries have to dismantle tariff barriers and offer maximum incentives to each other.
Chawla said Pakistan was strategically located in South Asia and it could provide Indonesia an opportunity to export to landlocked countries of Central Asia. Similarly, Indonesia could also facilitate Pakistan in gaining access to the $2-trillion worth of Asean (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) market.
He pointed out that during 2017 Pakistan imported $1.78 billion worth of edible oil, of which a sizable quantity came from Indonesia.
Pakistan has offered maximum incentives to Indonesia, hence, it should reciprocate in the same manner, the FCCI president suggested.
Chawla underlined the need for exchange of trade delegations in addition to organising single-country exhibitions in both countries.
He hoped that the Indonesian embassy would provide business-related information to the FCCI so that businessmen could enhance their share in exports to Indonesia.
Published in The Express Tribune, September 12th, 2018.