Indonesia and Pakistan make up a growing market for businessmen and economic entities

Islamabad: Indonesia and Pakistan together make up an ever growing market of more than four hundred forty million people which offers the best opportunities to businessmen and economic entities of both countries for building a sound economic cooperative partnership.
This was stated by Mr. Gusmardi Bustami, Director General, Ministry of Trade, of Indonesia while addressing the Pakistan-Indonesia Business Forum here today. Besides Secretary Commerce, Zafar Mehmood, Ambassador of Pakistan to Indonesia, Sanaullah, Dr. Ilhamy Elias, Chairman Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal Committee, KADIN (Indonesia Chamber of Commerce), Mr. Osman Sapta, Chairman KADIN, top fifty Pakistani and Indonesian businessmen attended the Forum which is the first event of its kind held in the last fifteen years.

Addressing the Forum, Gusmardi Bustami warmly welcomed the Pakistani delegates saying they would serve as a bridge between Indonesia and Pakistan for furtherance of economic cooperation, especially trade.

He said after touching the one billion dollar mark in 2006-2007, trade between the two countries slipped downward mainly because Pakistan diverted its purchase of edible oil from Indonesia to Malaysia. So both countries needed to enhance their economic engagement. He said being a larger country in term of population and size, Indonesia had better scope of enhancing its exports to Pakistan.

Dr. Ilhamy Elias, Chairman Pakistan committee of KADIN emphasized exchange of proper information to enable businessmen from both countries identify specific areas and projects for bilateral trade. He stressed close cooperation between Chambers of Commerce from both countries, He said Indonesia could easily take its exports up to 1.5 billion dollar helped by palm oil but the two countries needed to conclude the PTA as soon as possible.

Secretary Commerce Mr. Zafar Mehmood said that Pakistan and Indonesia were good trading partners and with concerted efforts they could develop a higher level of economic cooperation. He lamented the war on terror had badly affected Pakistan’s economy as finances from other sectors had to be diverted for sustaining fight against militancy.

He also attributed Pakistan’s economic difficulties to the calamity of floods in 2010-11 and the devastating earthquake in 2005. He said last year’s flood destroyed standing crops of rice and cotton and washed away people’s home and hearths but he said all these difficulties had failed to shake the spirit of Pakistani people. Pakistani exports experienced 28% growth last year.

Pakistan was expanding its trade with Iran, Nepal, Sri Lanka, India and countries in the Middle East. He said it was unfortunate that the two countries could not sign the PTA till now. He hoped his visit to Indonesia would help strengthen economic cooperation and there would also be a move forward on the issue of PTA.

He said contacts between businessmen from both side would fortify economic and trade relations in the private sector. He also mentioned that Indonesian export of palm oil to Pakistan went down because Pakistan signed FTA with Malaysia. So to revive the palm oil export to Pakistan, signing of PTA in near future would be a positive step. It will also help expand overall Indonesian exports to Pakistan.

The Managing Director and Country General Manager of Geofizyka Krakow Ltd. Dr. Ivan Vrubel who has served in Pakistan for seven years gave a special presentation on economic infrastructure and working of various institutions. He said that despite some security problems Pakistan offered the best opportunities for trade and investment. He particularly mentioned his experience in the field of oil and gas exploration.

Earlier, in his opening remarks Ambassador of Pakistan to Indonesia, Sanaullah said the holding of Pakistan-Indonesia Business Forum was a positive step towards enhancing economic cooperation in economic matters. He said, in cooperation with TDAP we have been able to participate in various trade fares in Indonesia.

Last year we had a large scale workshop on leather products. Pakistan’s leather was highly appreciated and there were good opportunities to move forward in this sector. He said the present volume of trade i.e 746 million dollars did not present a true picture of the depth at scale of Pakistan-Indonesia friendship.

Out of this 746 million dollars Pakistan’s share was only 70 million, so there was no reason for Indonesia to be apprehensive about entering a trade agreement with Pakistan. He said Pakistan specially looked up to Mr. Ilhamy, Chairman Pakistan Committee KADIN and Mr. Gusmardi Bustami, Director General, Ministry of Trade of Indonesia, both great friends of Pakistan, to help build a sound trade relationship for mutual prosperity.

Later, the special round of Business-to-Business meetings and networking was held. Businessmen from both sides exchanged contact details and information about their specific areas of interest.

On the sidelines of the Forum, the visiting Secretary Commerce, Zafar Mehmood called on Indonesian Vice Minister of Trade, Mr. Mahendra Siregar. He was accompanied by Ambassador Sanaullah on the occasion.

Besides exchanging views on bilateral economic cooperation both sides also impressed upon their chief negotiators to move forward on conclusion of the PTA keeping in view the need to integrate the economies as a substantial input to broaden bilateral ties.

It may be added here that the 8th round of Pakistan-Indonesia TNC is scheduled to be held on Friday.

Lanka, India and countries in the Middle East. He said it was unfortunate that the two countries could not sign the PTA till now. He hoped his visit to Indonesia would help strengthen economic cooperation and there would also be a move forward on the issue of PTA.

He said contacts between businessmen from both side would fortify economic and trade relations in the private sector. He also mentioned that Indonesian export of palm oil to Pakistan went down because Pakistan signed FTA with Malaysia. So to revive the palm oil export to Pakistan, signing of PTA in near future would be a positive step. It will also help expand overall Indonesian exports to Pakistan.

The Managing Director and Country General Manager of Geofizyka Krakow Ltd. Dr. Ivan Vrubel who has served in Pakistan for seven years gave a special presentation on economic infrastructure and working of various institutions.

He said that despite some security problems Pakistan offered the best opportunities for trade and investment. He particularly mentioned his experience in the field of oil and gas exploration.

Earlier, in his opening remarks Ambassador of Pakistan to Indonesia, Sanaullah said the holding of Pakistan-Indonesia Business Forum was a positive step towards enhancing economic cooperation in economic matters. He said, in cooperation with TDAP we have been able to participate in various trade fares in Indonesia. Last year we had a large scale workshop on leather products.

Pakistan’s leather was highly appreciated and there were good opportunities to move forward in this sector. He said the present volume of trade i.e 746 million dollars did not present a true picture of the depth at scale of Pakistan-Indonesia friendship. Out of this 746 million dollars Pakistan’s share was only 70 million, so there was no reason for Indonesia to be apprehensive about entering a trade agreement with Pakistan.

He said Pakistan specially looked up to Mr. Ilhamy, Chairman Pakistan Committee KADIN and Mr. Gusmardi Bustami, Director General, Ministry of Trade of Indonesia, both great friends of Pakistan, to help build a sound trade relationship for mutual prosperity. Later, the special round of Business-to-Business meetings and networking was held. Businessmen from both sides exchanged contact details and information about their specific areas of interest.

On the sidelines of the Forum, the visiting Secretary Commerce, Zafar Mehmood called on Indonesian Vice Minister of Trade, Mr. Mahendra Siregar. He was accompanied by Ambassador Sanaullah on the occasion.

Besides exchanging views on bilateral economic cooperation both sides also impressed upon their chief negotiators to move forward on conclusion of the PTA keeping in view the need to integrate the economies as a substantial input to broaden bilateral ties.

It may be added here that the 8th round of Pakistan-Indonesia TNC is scheduled to be held on Friday.

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