Home International Indonesia, India expect bilateral trade to reach $25 bn by 2015

Indonesia, India expect bilateral trade to reach $25 bn by 2015


Jakarta: In line with their fast-growing economies, India and Indonesia expect to enhance their economic cooperation to meet grow to $25 billion by 2015, media reports said Thursday.

Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said that India would continue to be one of Indonesia’s key trade partners in the future, especially during the present economic slowdown, Xinhua reported.

“Our strengthening relationship will also help us face the more turbulent years ahead in the world economy given our large domestic markets,” she said at the closing of the first bilateral trade ministers’ forum here.

During the two-day forum, the Indonesian and Indian delegations held a pre-negotiation consultation on the Indonesia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (II-CECA), and discussed, among other things, trade barriers to products such as beef, medicine, food and areca nut seeds, and the problem of tariff structures.

Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said that bilateral economic cooperation in terms of trade and investment had grown satisfactorily.

“We have come to Indonesia with substantial investment in the infrastructure sector, ranging from railways to power generation, textiles and smelteries, and (a further) $25 billion worth of investment is in the pipeline. There is great potential as well as mutual opportunities that we can explore,” the Jakarta Post quoted him as saying.

According to the Central Statistics Agency, bilateral trade was valued at $13.20 billion last year, making India Indonesia’s seventh largest trading partner. The figure was $8.9 billion in the first half of this year, a 55.03 percent increase from the $5.79 billion during the same period in 2010.

India ranked 16th in the foreign investors’ list, with $35.3 million in 37 projects during the first half of this year.

Sharma said India would continue to buy commodities from Indonesia to maintain its growth and sustain its food security, including palm oil, of which exports reached $7.5 billion last year. He said that the government did not plan to raise the import duty on Indonesia’s palm oil.

Indian industry has called on government to increase the import duty on palm oil, especially refined palmolein, from 7.73 percent to 16.5 percent, following a lowering of export duty by Indonesia.