Efforts being made to enhance volume of trade between Pakistan & Indonenesia: Indonesian Ambassador

LAHORE: Indonesian Ambassador has said that the implementation of PakistanIndonesia PTA would begin new era of cooperation and serve as a foundation for enhanced economic and trade cooperation. The Pakistani businesses will increase exports to Southeast Asia’s largest economy under the Preferential Trade Agreement.

“After the implementation of PTA, we will take further steps to broader economic integration by initiating negotiations on a free trade agreement FTA.”

Indonesian Ambassador to Pakistan M Burhan Mohammad expressed these views while speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Saturday. LCCI Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad presented the address of welcome while Executive Committee Members Mian Zahid Javaid, Husnain Reza Mirza, Ahmad Husnain and Khamis Saeed Butt also spoke on the occasion.

The Ambassador said that serious efforts are being made to enhance the volume of twoway trade between Pakistan and Indonesia. He said that Indonesia’s economy, which represents 40 percent of ASEAN’s aggregate economy, is projected to grow in 2013.

Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI Vice President Mian Abuzar Shad said that Free Trade Agreement negotiations in near future are necessary to draw beneficial results from PTA. He said that Pakistan’s share in twoway trade is much lesser than that of Indonesia but it is a good omen that the two countries are on the right track.

The LCCI Vice President said that under the PTA, Indonesia has included various Pakistani products in offer list including fresh fruits, cotton yarn, cotton fabrics, readymade garments, electric fans, sports goods, leather goods and other industrial products.

Indonesia has also offered market access to kinnow from Pakistan at zero percent, which will provide a levelplaying field to this product in the Indonesian market.

Similarly, Pakistan’s offer list to Indonesia under the agreement includes a total of 287 tariff lines for market access at preferential tariff. Pakistan also agreed to provide the same treatment on palm oil products from Indonesia as provided to Malaysia under PakistanMalaysia FTA. In year 2011, the percentage share of palm oil in total imports from Indonesia was 23%.

There is also a lot of scope for Indonesia to make investment in Pakistan. Indonesia has a fairly advanced petrochemical, rubber, plywood, telecommunication and tourism industry. Indonesia can make direct investment in these industries and can also enter into joint ventures with Pakistani counterparts.

It is, therefore, proposed that these potential areas should be studied and monitored by the commercial sections of diplomatic missions for promoting trade and investment between the two countries. And this is possible through active engagement of the Chambers of Commerce & Industry of the two countries, frequent exchange of economic & trade delegations to identify the areas of mutual interest and arranging single country exhibitions in each other’s country.

He said that the LCCI really appreciates the Indonesian Embassy for maintaining excellent working relations which also contribute in enhancing trade ties between two countries.

Indonesia and Pakistan members of OIC, are bonded together by old historical links and enjoy cordial relations based on commonality of religion.

Indonesia having population size of around 240 million is the most populous country of Muslim Ummah while Pakistan comes at second place. Our two countries together have a population of over 420 million. It fairly hints about the available size of market for each other.

With such a huge size of manpower, both the sides need to harness this resource by embarking upon labour intensive ventures. For that matter government to government and private sector to private sector interaction can play effective role.

Pakistan’s major exports to Indonesia includes cotton, maize, cotton fabric, wheat, leather and cotton yarn etc. And imports are: palm oil, coal, nuts, artificial staple fibres, silver, paper and yarn of synthetic fiber etc.

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