Indonesian Entrepreneur Delegation Heads to Karachi

FEBRUARY 24, 2015

Jakarta. A group of 20 Indonesian entrepreneurs led by Mufti Hamka Hasan, vice chairman of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, or Kadin, is slated to attend  the Pakistan Expo 2015, a business and trade show, which kicks off in Karachi on Thursday and runs through March 1.

According to a press release from the Pakistani Embassy in Jakarta, the Indonesian delegates represent Kadin Indonesia, Kadin Jakarta, the Indonesian Fruits and Vegetables Importers and Exporters Association and leading Indonesian companies from a variety of sectors.

Members of the delegation are also scheduled to meet government officials as well as their Pakistani counterparts.

In a pre-departure meeting held on Feb. 9, Syed Zahid Raza, Charge de Affairs of the Pakistani Embassy and Hadi Santoso, Indonesian Consul General in Karachi,   briefed the group on business opportunities in Pakistan.

Mufti emphasized that the visit would go a long way in enhancing bilateral trade between the two countries.

“Indonesia has been an important trading partner of Pakistan,” the Pakistani Embassy said in a statement.

Pakistan’s bilateral trade with Indonesia surged from $466.5 million in 2004 to  $2.207 billion in 2014.

“For the first time in history, Indonesia-Pakistan bilateral trade crossed the $2 billion mark in only a year — the same year the Indonesia Pakistan preferential trade agreement came into effect,” the embassy said.

Pakistan’s exports to Indonesia also showed a significant increase in the last five months of 2014 compared to the same period the year before.

Major beneficiaries of the trade deal are kinnow (with exports growing from $3.2 million in 2013 to $19.5 million in 2014), cotton (from $52.68 million in 2013 to $69.3 million in 2014), fish (from $7.3 million in 2013 to $8.63 million in 2014), knitwear (from $1.5 million in 2013 to $2.2 million in 2014), textile made-ups, sports goods and glass.

But tobacco, cotton fabrics, rubber, lead, iron and steel products, as well as surgical instruments could not capitalize on the market access as they are not covered in the agreement. As a result, exports of rice, corn and copper waste have decreased by $45 million in 2014.

The trade deal has also allowed Pakistan to bring in palm oil from Indonesia at a cheaper rate, boosting imports from $839 million in 2013 to $1377 million in 2014, according to the embassy.