Indonesian Envoy urges Pakistan to focus on ASEAN for trade and exports

  • February 24, 2022
Ambassador of Indonesia said that the East was the future of the global economy and Pakistan should develop close cooperation with Indonesia to get better market access to ASEAN region. He said that China has around US$ 700 billion trade with ASEAN region while Pakistan has only US$ 7 billion trade with it and stressed that Pakistan should give more focus to East Asia and Pacific that have huge potential for trade and exports. He said that Pakistan should diversify its trade with Indonesia by focusing on more items. He said that both countries should pay attention to those areas in which they could complement each other’s economy. He said that the Indonesian Embassy would try to bring trade delegations to Pakistan and similarly facilitate the Pakistani business community to visit Indonesia to explore new avenues of promoting bilateral trade between the two countries. He said that Pakistan and Indonesia were reviewing tariffs to bring more products in the trade agreement and ICCI should also give its input to make the trade agreement more beneficial for both countries. He further said that he was interested to work with ICCI for promoting economic empowerment of women in Islamic countries as he was already in touch with the embassies of Saudi Arabia, UAE, Malaysia and other Islamic countries for this purpose. He said that Pakistan youth was doing a great job in freelancing that would benefit its economy. He emphasized that Pakistan should also harness its e-commerce potential to accelerate the growth of its economy. He expressed these views while addressing the business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry.  
Speaking at the occasion, Muhammad Shakeel Munir, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry said that Indonesia was a trillions dollar economy and was very important country for Pakistan to promote trade and exports. He said that the combined population of Pakistan and Indonesia was a huge market of over 490 million people with great potential for trade, joint ventures and investment for the entrepreneurs of both countries. He said that Indonesia provided Pakistan easy access to ASEAN region and similarly Pakistan provided Indonesia easy access to the South Asian region. So, it was very important for both countries to develop close cooperation for achieving mutually beneficial results. He said that despite signing an FTA in 2012, the bilateral trade of around US$ 2.5 billion between Pakistan and Indonesia was quite low given the size of their economies. He said the main reason of low trade was that both countries were doing trade in limited items and urged that they should focus on diversification of trade to achieve better results.  
Jamshaid Akhtar Sheikh Senior Vice President ICCI said that Pakistan and Indonesia have good potential to enhance cooperation in many fields including tourism, mines & minerals, textiles, IT, e-commerce and they should take practical measures to capitalize on these opportunities.   Khalid Iqbal Malik, Chairman Founder Group stressed that both countries should encourage regular exchange of trade delegations and facilitate their private sectors to participate in each other’s trade fairs and exhibitions that would greatly help in exploring new areas of promoting trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Indonesia.  
Sheikh Amir Waheed former President ICCI, Malik Sohail Hussain, Faad Waheed, Fayyaz ur Rehman, Usman Qureshi, Fatima Azim and others also spoke at the occasion and shared useful ideas for promoting bilateral trade and economic relations between Pakistan and Indonesia.