KARACHI: Consul General of Indonesia Dr June Kuncoro Hadiningrat has stressed the need to further strengthen the existing trade and economic cooperation between Indonesia and Pakistan through enhanced interactions between the business communities in addition to connecting Indonesian and Pakistani youngsters and children for fostering future economic cooperation.
“For this purpose, Indonesia Pakistan Youth Forum was opened to provide a vibrant platform for our younger generation who must lead way for creating opportunities while another forum namely Indonesia Pakistan Children Friendship has also been created so that our children could know more about each other”, he said while speaking at a meeting during his visit to the Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI).
President KCCI Mohammed Tariq Yousuf, Senior Vice President Touseef Ahmed, Vice President Haris Agar, Chairman Diplomatic Missions and Embassies Liaison Subcommittee Zia ul Arfeen, Former President Majyd Aziz, Former Vice President Shamsul Islam Khan and KCCI Managing Committee Members were also present on the occasion.
Indonesian CG, while appreciating the spirit shown by KCCI to enhance trade ties with Indonesian business community, said that the Indonesian Consulate regularly holds interaction with all the stakeholders including politicians and government officials but they rely much on Pakistan’s private sector to boost trade and economic relations. “Indonesia and Pakistan with diverse cultures and huge population are altogether a big market with lots of opportunities.”
Terming the Indonesia Pakistan ties as genuine, practical and result-oriented, he reiterated that the business communities must regularly meet each other to further develop the existing relations. “A business delegation from Pakistan should visit Indonesia to explore trade and investment opportunities which will be fully facilitated by the Indonesia Consulate”, he advised, adding that his Consulate has been receiving a lot of queries about doing business with Pakistan, hence, these opportunities should not be missed.
He informed that trade volume between Pakistan and Indonesia increased to more than US$3 billion last year, indicating a rise of 28 percent as compared to compared to 2021. “We, at the Indonesian Embassy and Consulate in Karachi are hoping for more and more interaction and real cooperation in the economic and trade fields so that the existing trade volume could be improved further”, said Dr. June, “Pakistan imports remains mostly confined to palm oil and coal whereas Indonesia mainly imports textiles, sportswear and agriculture products from Pakistan, therefore, exchange of more products needs to be encouraged.”
He said that Indonesia, which was now chairing the ASEAN, was keen to enhance Pakistan’s interaction with ASEAN which was one of the biggest regional cooperation and a huge market with a population of more than 600 million. “Pakistani business community can use Indonesia as production base for sending goods to ASEAN countries.”
Underscoring the need to improve social and cultural relations, he informed that seven MoUs have been signed between the Indonesian Universities and Universities in Sindh province whereas the highest number of scholarship recipients in Indonesia were from Pakistan last year.
Earlier, President KCCI Mohammed Tariq Yousuf, while welcoming the Indonesian CG, stressed that Pakistan and Indonesia should take Indonesia–Pakistan Preferential Trade Agreement to the next level by signing a comprehensive Free trade Agreement to further exploit business and investment opportunities.
He was of the view that tourism can be a multi-billion-dollar industry. Pakistan’s landscape was unique and varied, having multiple attractions in Northern areas, and historical & religious sites which could attract good number of adventurers and mountaineers from Indonesia and rest of the world. “Both countries should work together to develop public-private partnerships for tourism development at provincial levels, exchange cultural activities and promote potential tourist spots to engage private sectors for promotion of inter-country tourism.”
He said that Pakistan was a very important investment & business market for Indonesian companies due to its market size, strategic location and CPEC, which could offer tremendous opportunities to Indonesian companies. “The business communities of the two countries can also undertake joint ventures in palm trees plantation, Islamic finance, Halal food, energy, low-cost housing, infrastructure development, telecommunications, and education, etc. We must establish Joint Business Forum and promote cooperation with Indonesian companies in agriculture, textile, foods, pharmaceutical, leather and energy sectors.”
Copyright Business Recorder, 2023