ASEAN region to open new avenues for export: Indonesian Envoy (The Balochistan Times (Pakistan))

Acting Ambassador of Indonesia to Pakistan, Samsu Rizal on Monday said that Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) region will open new avenue of export with the start up of ASEAN Economic Community by the end of this year.

He was addressing the business community in Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (FCCI) here on Monday.

He said that Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) was inked between Pakistan and Indonesia in 2013, adding that Indonesia was fully exploited it and successfully enhanced its exports to Pakistan.

Regarding decline in Pakistani textile exports to Indonesia, he said that the purpose of his visit to Faisalabad was to apprise local exporters about vast opportunities available in Indonesian markets for the export of textile related products.

He said before signing of PTA between Pakistan and Indonesia, the export of Pakistani kinnow was only US$ 3 million that had now jumped to US$ 20 million.

He said that Indonesia was a big country with population of 250 million, adding that share of productive youth was 66.6 percent. He said that Indonesia had become one of the largest economies of the world with GDP growth rate of 5.9 percent per annum.

He said that Indonesia produce rice to feed its huge population but still there was room for the export of Pakistani rice. He said that he was ready to extend maximum facility to the exporters from Faisalabad.

In this connection, he disclosed that 30th Indonesian Expo will be held in Jakarta on October 21, 2015. He said that visa and other facilities would be extended to the intending participants of thi

Expo on top priority basis. He said that on the recommendation of FCCI, Visa applications would also be processed expeditiously.

Responding to a question, he said that decline in textile exports was also due to tough competition to Pakistan in Indonesia by its regional competitors like China, India and Taiwan.

He said that India and Indonesia have already inked Free Trade Agreement (FTA) while Pakistan has yet to start a long negotiation process for FTA.

Earlier in his welcome address, acting President Nadeem Allahwala said that Pakistan and Indonesia having bondage of Islamic brotherhood enjoy cordial relations.

There is a need to transform these relations into promoting bilateral trade, investment and joint ventures, he said and added that both the countries have bilateral trade volume of US$ 2.25 billion in the Year 2014. Pakistan’s export to Indonesia was US$ 138.17 million while Indonesian exports to Pakistan were US$ 2107.23 million with balance of trade in favor of Indonesia.

He said that Pakistan and Indonesia have signed a Preferential Trade Agreement and volume of bilateral trade between the two countries has no doubt, improved from $700 million in 2010 to $2.25 billion in 2015. However, there is plenty of scope to improve two way trades in many areas by providing better market access to each other’s private sectors, grant more tariff concessions and remove all non-tariff barriers that will help in promoting bilateral trade up to actual potential.

He said that Indonesian investors should invest in Pakistan, especially in energy sector that offers great investment potential in hydro projects and alternative energy sources. Pakistan Government policies are relaxed for remittance of whole profit in foreign currency for foreign direct investment.

Later Mr. Nadeem Allahwala Acting President FCCI presented FCCI shield to His Excellency Mr. Samsu Rizal, Acting Ambassador of Indonesia in Pakistan.

Mr. Samsu Rizal, Acting Ambassador of Indonesia also presented a shield to Nadeem Allahwala in addition to 2 informative booklets about Indonesia.

Inaam Afzal Khan vice president thanked the guests and participants of the meeting.