INDONESIA TO BOOST ITS EXPORTS
Warehouse being established at Karachi
By AMANULLAH BASHAR
Jul 31 - Aug 06, 2000
Indonesian warehouse, being set up at Karachi, will be used to promote exports of various Indonesian products in Pakistan as well as in the countries of the region including Central Asian States.
This was indicated by Ali Ardjoeno, Consul General of Indonesia in Karachi, while giving details of "Indonesia Trade Expo 2000" to be held in Karachi next week. He said that the strategic location of Pakistan offers great opportunities for enhancing exports, Indonesia together with Pakistan can strengthen their economies with concerted efforts to exploit the export potential. He also said that Pakistan being a producer of the best quality surgical products, his country has decided to import all its requirements in surgical items including wheel chairs from Pakistan. This will significantly add to Indonesia's list of import from Pakistan. The Indonesia diplomat was however of the view that the volume of trade between Indonesia and Pakistan does not speak properly when compared with the size of the market of the two countries. He said that comparatively Bangladesh and Sri Lanka are smaller than Pakistan yet their imports from Indonesia are bigger than Pakistan. While comparing the import figures of these countries he said that Bangladesh imports from Indonesia during 1998 were estimated at $185 million, Sri Lanka $182 million, India $234 million while imports to Pakistan were registered at $166 million. Since Pakistan is a country of bigger population with sophisticated and quality education the volume of trade does not reflect the real strength.
The current economic developments which include signing of MOU by the foreign ministers of the two countries, holding of Expo 2000 at Karachi, establishment of a warehouse and visit of trade delegations from Pakistan and Indonesia next month are in fact the follow up of the visit of Chief Executive Gen. Pervez Musharraf to his country.
One of the major reason for lower volume of trade between the two countries are the misconceptions among the trade communities created due to misinformation dissipated by some of the western media. For example, alleged sectarian clashes, bomb blasts or other sort of terrorism generally discouraged the business people to visit Pakistan. The visit of Indonesian businessmen has been arranged to offset this concept. They would visit to each other's countries to see by themselves that all these reports were unfounded and baseless. The blast in train at Hyderabad, for example is reported in a way painting a picture of severe law and order situation in Pakistan. This concept has to be washed off by the media in Pakistan as well as in Indonesia. For that purpose exchange of mediamen is highly advisable, he suggested.
Following are the highlights of the MOU signed between Pakistan and Indonesia:
The two countries desirous of expanding the developing bilateral relations and cooperation in diverse spheres include political, economic, commercial, defence and cultural fields.
The two countries have agreed to establish a bilateral consultative forum at the level of additional secretary/ Director General of the Ministries of Foreign Affairs of Pakistan and Indonesia respectively to periodically review progress of the bilateral relations.
Under this arrangement they agreed to hold consultations once a year, alternatively in Pakistan and Indonesia on mutually convenient dates. To coordinate positions on international regional issues of mutual concern. To ensure follow up decisions reached at various bilateral forums. To review progress in the implementation of existing agreements and to consult each other in respect of any matter arising from or in connection with the supply of goods or commodities between the two countries.
To explore and employ all possible ways and means to enhance interaction between communities of the two countries and to identify and fully exploit the trade potential and to strengthen economic and commercial relations.
Indonesia Trade Expo 2000 being held on August 4-6, 2000 in Karachi is organized by the Consulate General of Indonesia in association with Indonesia's national Agency for Export Development.
There are 28 Indonesian companies/ exporters to participate in the Expo. Product of interest that will be displayed, among others are automotive, paper products, cosmetics, footwears, leather products, handicrafts and wooden products, petrochemical products, processed foods, confectioneries and non-alcohol beverages.
The exhibition is aimed at providing broaden corridor of contacts between private sectors of the two countries at special one-on-one meeting could be arrange during Expo.
The trade exhibition is held within the spirit of MOU between the two countries on the establishment of Pak-Indonesia Consultative forum signed by the foreign ministers of the two countries during the visit of Gen. Pervez Musharraf to Jakarta on March 30-31 this year.