(Karachi P.R. 29th Sep, 2016) Pakistan and Indonesia are the two most populous countries of the Muslim world and constitute about 25% of the total Muslim population of the world, this was stated by the Shaikh Khalid Tawab, Sr. Vice President FPCCI in a meeting with Honorable Ambassador of Indonesia Mr. Iwan Suyudhie Amri and Mr. Hadi Santoso Consul General of Indonesia who visited FPCCI Head office for intensifying interaction between the trade mission of Indonesia and business community of Pakistan in order to promote bilateral trade and economic relations between the two brotherly nations.
Mr. Tawab briefed the activities of FPCCI and its role in economic development of Pakistan. He suggested regular exchange of delegation, holding of exhibitions and participation in trade fairs on reciprocal business for enhancing relations. He also emphasized on the activation of Joint business council and holding of its meeting either in Pakistan or in Indonesia. While quoting the statistics, he informed that Pakistan’s exports to Indonesia grew from US$ 47 million in 2003 to US$ 140 million in 2015, whereas its imports from Indonesia rose from US$ 266 million in 2003 to US$ 2.04 billion in 2015. While Pakistan is exporting cotton, rice and corn to Indonesia and importing palm oil, staple fibres and edible nuts from Indonesia. He further added that Pakistan-Indonesia Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) was signed in February 2012 and was formally activated in September 2013 wherein major benefits are only given to Kinnow and palm oil and due to this palm oil has become the largest import of Pakistan from Indonesia. He also urged moving from PTA to FTA for removing the trade barriers.
Mr. Iwan Suyudhie Amri, Ambassador of Indonesia thanked to the people of Pakistan for warm hospitality and generosity since his presence in Pakistan and observed that the security and safety environment of Pakistan has been improved. He also highlighted the bilateral cooperation between both countries in defense, education, media and other fields and invited Pakistan Businessmen in Trade Expo of Indonesia which will be held from October 12 to October 16, 2016 in Jakarta. He added that Indonesia is the most populous, whereas Pakistan is the second most populous Muslim-majority country which indicates potential of halal food exports to other nations. He indicated that Pakistan and Indonesia has signed many agreements which both nations are currently trying to materialize. Mr. Hadi Santoso Consul General of Indonesia said that Pakistan and Indonesia have a great history of bilateral cultural relations and trade ties since their independence in 1947. He also stated that government to government relations of both countries are strong and we are looking forward to strengthen people to people relations. There are large trade and business opportunities in both countries for their business communities.
During the meeting, the participants highlighted the trade potentials of rice, kinoos and other items and requested the trade mission of Indonesia to convey the request of Pakistani businessmen to open the imports of Pakistan’s Kinoo from December, because it a perishable commodity and delaying in imports will create loss to Pakistan. Moreover, the Indonesia should contact for the import of rice from Private sector of Pakistan, instead of Trading Corporation of Pakistan because all exports of rice conduct by the private sector. Indonesia should also remove 15 percent of rebate on exporting crude palm oil to Pakistan because as per the PTA, Pakistani government has already gave this 15 percent concession to the exports of Pakistan to Indonesia.
The meeting was also attended by Vice Presidents FPCCI Mr. Arshad Farooq and Mr. Zulfiqar Shaikh, and others members of FPCCI.
Maher Alam Khan
Acting Secretary General