PESHAWAR: Indonesian businessmen have been seeking opportunities to enhance trade with Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in light of the province’s natural resources, business opportunities and skilled manpower, said Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, Ishak Latuconsina, during his visit to the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KPCCI) on Thursday.
The ambassador while meeting with KPCCI members said the businessmen community of Indonesia had been taking a keen interest in the business opportunities present in Pakistan and Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa in particular to boost trade and economic ties.
“Signing of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA), to take place within the next few weeks between Islamabad and Jakarta, would further flourish trade between the two Asian countries and be beneficial for businessmen of both the countries by bringing a number of business opportunities,” he said, adding that both countries had been focusing on around 500 items to be introduced to the tariff lines.
“We have planned to bring two items to zero tariffs. Pakistani orange (Kinnow) and Indonesia Palm Oil,” the ambassador said, adding that to take advantage of the skilled manpower in Pakistan, Indonesian authorities were planning to train Indonesian nationals in different sectors.
“The government of Pakistan is cooperative and supportive of enhancing trade between the two countries. The businessmen community and ordinary people must have interaction. Let me tell you that K-P residents are skilled enough to compete with people belonging to any other nation in the world,” the ambassador said.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Latuconsina said he would talk to the city administration of Makassar, a city in Indonesia as Peshawar and Makassar had been declared “sister cities” in 2007 but unfortunately had not proceeded accordingly.
“It is indeed a very good opportunity to remind Makassar administration of their agreement with the then city administration of Peshawar but the city administration here also needs to work upon it as cooperation between Makassar and Peshawar would boost economic and trade relations between the two sister cities.”
Talking to The Express Tribune, KPCCI President Afaan Aziz said the singing of PTA would help flourish trade between the two countries and would untimely give Indonesia access K-P products.
“We only have two major exports to Indonesia which are cotton waste and carpets but after the signing of PTA, our exports will increase and we will also be importing Palm Oil and textile fiber from Indonesia” Aziz said.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 6th, 2012.