Lahore: Indonesian Charge d’ Affairs Samsu Rizal has urged the Pakistani businessmen to take full advantage from the large market of Indonesia. He was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry here on Thursday. The LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz, Senior Vice President Mian Nauman Kabir, Vice President Syed Mahmood Ghaznavi and Executive Committee Members also spoke on the occasion.
The Diplomat said that bilateral trade is needed to be enhanced to the maximum as Pakistan and Indonesia are potential markets. He said that Pakistani rice and meat have great demand in Indonesia therefore Pakistani businessmen should avail this opportunity.
He said that the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry is playing a significant role to strengthen the trade and economic relations between the two countries.
He also thanked the Lahore Chamber of Commerce & Industry for expressing good wishes for the Indonesian Ambassador who lost his life in a tragic incident.
Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Ijaz A. Mumtaz expressed deep grief and sorrow over the death of Indonesian Ambassador Burhan Mohammad and his wife.
He said that Indonesia and Pakistan have old historical links and enjoy cordial relations. The people of both countries are close to each other and share special bondage of friendship and companionship.
“Both Indonesia and Pakistan have many things in common. We are important trading hubs in our respective regions. We are sovereign and democratic countries with abundantly available labour force, natural resources and potential to grow. More interestingly, Pakistan came into being on 14 August 1947 and Indonesia declared independence on 17 August 1945”, the LCCI President said.
He said that with such a huge size of manpower, we need to harness this resource by embarking upon labour intensive ventures. For that matter government to government and private to private interactions can play effective role.
The LCCI President said that the bilateral trade figures fairly indicate the economic relations between two countries. However, the gap of trade deficit is further widening which needs to be shortened by way of allowing Pakistan to export more items to Indonesia.
He said that the imports from Indonesia to Pakistan registered a significant increase from dollar 1.2 billion in 2013 to dollar 2.1 billion in 2014. He said that the sole reason was 100% increase in the import of palm oil from Indonesia which doubled from dollar 700 million to dollar 1.4 billion in a year’s time.
Ijaz A. Mumtaz said that Pakistan exports to Indonesia fell from dollar 144 million in 2013 to dollar 138 million in 2014. Indonesia has given market access under Preferential Trade Agreement only to kinnow that is why things are not moving in favour of Pakistan. Please also include carpets and surgical items in it. We seriously require your guidance and cooperation to cause a turnaround in the present scenario.
“Pakistan’s major exports to Indonesia include cotton, rice, woven cotton fabrics, citrus fruit, leather, frozen fish, tobacco and cotton yarn etc. We import palm oil, nuts, coal, artificial staple fibres, yarn of synthetic staple fibres, vessels for breaking up, paper and natural rubber etc., from Indonesia”, he added.
The LCCI President said that there is also a lot of scope for Indonesia to make investment in Pakistan. Indonesia has a fairly advanced petro-chemical, rubber, plywood, telecommunication and tourism industry. Indonesia can make direct investment in these industries and can also enter into joint ventures with Pakistani counterparts.