Great trade potential exists between Pakistan, Indonesia

KARACHI: There is a great trade potential exists between Pakistan and Indonesia.

This was stated by Hadi Santoso, Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia who visited Bin Qasim Association of Trade & Industry (BQATI) recently. The meeting was also attended by The Chairman, Port Qasim Authority (PQA), Aga Jan Akhtar who also emphasized that the Port Qasim Industrial Zone offer tremendous potential for the investment.

Chairman, PQA, also extended his utmost cooperation to facilitate the local and foreign investment in the Port Qasim area. The Consul General was welcomed by the Patron-In-Chief, BQATI, Mian Muhammad Ahmed who deliberated on the role of BQATI as a vehicle to facilitate the trade and investment.

Rasheed Jan Mohammed, President, BQATI gave a presentation to introduce the association and on the aspects of trade between Pakistan and Indonesia. He while acknowledging that trade between the two countries are indeed expanding, there is a great potential to increase exports of rice, meat and other products from Pakistan to Indonesia. Presently, Indonesia is the largest exporter of palm oil and olien to Pakistan.

The ratio of Indonesia exports to Pakistan in last three years have gone up from 30% to 70%. Pakistan is normally importing 2.3 million tons per annum of RBD Palm Oil and RBD Palm Olien and out of this quantity, 70% is now coming from Indonesia. This is primarily because of the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Indonesia whereby Pakistan government had given the duty advantage of 15% on the imports of edible oil from Indonesia.

Rasheed Jan Mohammed requested the Consul General that while Pakistan government had given 15% duty advantage to Indonesia, the Indonesian government may also reciprocate by withdrawing the export duty on Crude Palm Oil (CPO). In view of the export duty imposed by Malaysia and Indonesia on CPO, practically all the palm oil refineries in Pakistan are shut down as CPO is the basic raw material to operate the Physical Refineries.

It was also emphasized in the presentation that Consul General may also help improve export volume from Pakistan as we have huge production of rice and we can meet the requirement of Indonesia in terms of quality and quantity.

Although Indonesia is also a net producer of rice, generally they import 750,000 MT to 1.00 million tons of Rice per annum to maintain the buffer stocks. Unfortunately, Indonesia is hardly buying any rice from Pakistan as last year Indonesian share of buying rice from Pakistan was only 0.76 of the total rice imported in to the country.

Another area where Pakistan can increase its exports to Indonesia is the livestocks and meat. The Consul General in his address was very receptive and assured his fullest cooperation to increase the bilateral trade between the two countries.

He was very much proactive in introducing his economic team not only to explore the avenues to enhance the trade but also to sort out the ongoing issues of Export Tax on CPO, Certificate of Origin and other related matters. The Consul General also visited Indus Motors Company and showed his keen interest in the assembling of Toyota Cars in Pakistan.

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