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Indonesia, ASEAN offer huge market for Pakistan’s businessmen

By Our Correspondent
July 06, 2019

MULTAN: Indonesian Ambassador Iwan Suyudhie Amri has said the relations between his country and Pakistan are touching new horizons.

He said this while addressing the business community at the Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry here on Friday. The Indonesian ambassador said Indonesia along with the ASEAN countries is huge market with great potential for Pakistani products and the businessmen should focus on these countries to promote trade and exports. He urged the businessmen to explore potential of the ASEAN countries. The ambassador said that Indonesia abolished import duties upto 30 per cent on 20 Pakistani products in a trade deal to secure future of more than one billion dollars of palm oil exports to the south Asian economy.

Commenting on the relations between the two countries, he said that it was friendly and cordial since the inception of the two countries. Now we should make serious efforts to translate these relations into economic terms, he suggested. He said the volume of bilateral trade between the two countries was 2.18 billion dollars, which was far less than the existing potential.

He said that in bilateral trade, both countries get benefits. He told that the exports from Pakistan should increase to a considerable level. He said the law and order situation had improved in Pakistan and it would definitely have a positive impact on its exports to Indonesia. On the CPEC, he said it would attract foreign investment and all regional countries would enjoy its benefits.

He said that Indonesia was a country with a huge population of 250 million. “Our domestic market was very strong which had provided us a solid base for speedy economic growth”, he added.

Earlier, in his welcome address, Khawaja Badar Munir underlined the importance of existing bilateral trade between Pakistan and Indonesia and said that it was 2.18 billion dollars in 2015. Pakistani exports to Indonesia were only 140 million dollars whereas Indonesian exports to Pakistan were 2.04 billion dollars. Thus, the balance of trade was in favour of Indonesia, he added. He said that both countries had inked the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) in 2012 to enhance trade. It played a major role in enhancing bilateral trade and the trade volume that was only 700 million dollars in 2010 jumped to 2.18 billion in 2015, he informed.

He said that Indonesia was a major country exporting palm oil to Pakistan. Mian Rashid Iqbal, Asim Saeed Sheikh, Mirza Ali Ahmed, Syed Iftikhar Hussain Qureshi, Aurangzeb Alamgir, Khawaja Muhammad Farooq, Bakhsh Elahi, Syed Saqib Ali and Khurram Javed Butt were also present.