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Pakistan, Indonesia bilateral trade seen at $15 bl in three years

Islamabad: Indonesia has said that we are exploring new venues of cooperation and bilateral trade between two brotherly countries is to touch $ 15 billion mark by 2015.

Indonesian Minister for Industries M.S. Hidayat and Minister for Agriculture Suswono said that current bilateral trade volume is below USD 1.5 billion but Pakistan’s exports to the largest ASEAN economy is increasing which will get a great push after Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) comes into force.

They said this while speaking to a group of business community led by Atif Ikram Sheikh, Senior Vice Chairman of Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturers Association (PVMA) who is also Chairman Coordination, FPCCI Capital Office, Islamabad.

Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (KADIN) Chairman Suryo B. Sulisto, DG Gusmardi Bustami, Leonard F. Hutabarat, Muhammad Hartantyo, Akbar Iqbal Puri, Iftikhar Khan and others were also present on the occasion.

Ministers Hidayat said that middle class in 240 million Indonesians is swelling which is resulting in continued growth of exports from Pakistan. You should pay special attention to rice exports as we are the world’s third-largest consumers of rice, they said.

We are looking forward to import maize, wheat, wheat flour, unmanufactured tobacco, fresh fruits, fnuts, ready-made garments, finished and semi-finished leather, fish and fish products, cotton fabrics, cotton Islamic wear, prayer rugs, hide and skins, surgical goods, handicrafts, sports goods, sportswear and medical instruments from Pakistan, Minister and Suswono informed.

Pakistani exporters will soon enjoy zero rated tariffs on kinnow, lemon, grapes, apple, pears, apricots, dates, wafers, biscuits, and fruit juices under the operational PTA, the Indonesian ministers said.

Pakistani brothers will also be able to export fan, cotton yarn, fabric, knitted garments for men, sea food, badminton and tennis rackets, and leather goods on reduced tariff rates, they added.

Later, Indonesian Chamber and PVMA signed an MoU to enhance cooperation in various fields.

Speaking on the occasion Chairman of the Chamber Sulisto said that Indonesian firms are interested in investing in Pakistan in various sectors such as energy, wheat flour, fishery products and restaurants and chains.

We are eager to export some textile products, plastic goods, furniture, electronics and home appliances, he said.

At the occasion Atif Ikram Sheikh highlighted the importance of business to business meetings, exchange of delegations, exhibitions and exploring potential in services, agriculture and tourism sectors.

He said Jakarta can find good markets in Afghanistan and Central Asia through Pakistan, adding that both governments should relax visa regime which is imperative to boost trade.

Akbar Iqbal Puri welcomed enhanced participation of Pakistanis in Indonesian’s textile manufacturing and asked exporters to be more vigilant about quality and transparent trading practices.

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