KARACHI: A joint dialogue session between Pakistani and Indonesian businessman and government officials emphasised the importance of the long awaited but continuously delayed Indonesia-Pakistan Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).
About 200 participants from Indonesia and Pakistan agreed that there is massive potential for bilateral trade between the two countries, which has already increased by 44% in 2012 as compared to the previous year, reaching $1.6 billion. It is expected that with the implementation of the PTA the figure will increase three-folds.
The session stated that the implementation of the PTA can play a significant role in resolving the issues of business communities on both sides, besides enhancing bilateral trade volumes, business opportunities and exchange of expertise between both countries.
The session was organised by the Indonesian Ministry of Trade in collaboration with the Indonesian Embassy in Islamabad, the Indonesian Consulate General in Karachi and the Pakistan-Indonesia Business Forum, and was attended by State Bank of Pakistan Governor Yaseen Anwer, Indonesian Ambassador to Pakistan M Burhan Muhammad and Indonesian Consul General Rossalis R Adenan, said a press release here on Tuesday.
Participants cited the non-implementation of the PTA as the main obstacle to trade between the two countries.
Earlier Yaseen Anwar urged his Indonesian counterparts to join forces to increase bilateral trade. “Let’s find ways to explore opportunities for enhancing bilateral economic ties. Indonesia is among top ten countries of the world in mining sector. Pakistan can use Indonesian expertise and similarly Indonesia can be a large market of Pakistani exports.” said Anwar.
He urged ASEAN countries to take solid measures to reduce the gaps so as to enhance bilateral trade relations.
The Indonesian Ambassador M Burhan Muhammad opened the dialogue and announced that strengthening commercial ties between two countries was a major priority.
He discussed friendly visa requirements to Pakistanis travelling to Indonesia and launching direct flights between Jakarta and Karachi.
He assured the Pakistani business community that he would try his level best to ease the visa policy further.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2013.
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