Islamabad: Deputy Foreign Minister of Indonesia for Asia Pacific and African Affairs Abdul Kadir Jailani on Saturday said that Pakistan and Indonesia posses a huge potential in the development of economic, trade and diplomatic ties in the future.
“In order to enhance the existing capabilities in the relations between the two countries, more intensive economic diplomacy is going on and there is already a consensus in both countries for that matter,” Deputy Foreign Minister of Indonesia for Asia Pacific and African Affairs saud in in exclusive chat from Jakarta with Pakistan’s official media.
The bilateral trade between the two countries had already reached $4 billion dollars with more potential to be executed in the future, he said.
He said that there was already a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Indonesia which would help to promote mutual free trade in both sides.
The minister said that Pakistan was an important country in terms of its geographic location which shared borders with Central Asia, Middle East and China.
He said that Indonesia would prove to be a gateway for Pakistan in the Association of South East Asian Nation (ASEAN) countries and that Pakistan was also willing to give Indonesia market excess in its region on which there is consensus in both sides.
He said the private sector of the two countries needed to come closer through dialogue through which both the economies could get better results by connecting with each other through mutual economic integration.
Replying to a question, he said that China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)is an important project in which Indonesia was also thinking to investment.
Kadir Jailani said that Indonesia has its interest to invest in Special Economic Zones (SEZs) in Pakistan, which would promote economic and trade relations between the two countries.
He said the economic, socio-cultural connectivity was of utmost importance in both countries and at the same time giving importance to the relations between the people of both sides would lead to the strengthening of relations.
In response to another question, he said that after the Covid-19, the global supply chain was greatly affected, which impacted sector including health, education and livelihood.
He said that by connecting to the global supply chain both countries could increase their trade and livelihood.
He said that Pakistan and Indonesia were the two largest Islamic countries in terms of population with a combined population of 500 million “which is a potential market for economic and trade cooperation and can open new avenues for bilateral economic cooperation”.
The deputy minister said that both sides were working to enhance bilateral economic, trade, diplomatic, political and cultural cooperation, and new avenues of cooperation would open up in this regard in the future.
The minister said that the mutual relations between Pakistan and Indonesia had been strong since independence, which needed to be further improved so that our future generations are also the guardians of this heritage.
He said that during the current flood, the Indonesian government helped Pakistan in every way and sent three aircraft as aid and “we are in touch with the government of Pakistan to extend further help in rehabilitation in the future”.
He said that Indonesia did not believe in any rivalry anywhere in the world, but “we believe in global economic and trade integration”.
He further said that Indonesia was determined to develop our economic and trade relations with all regions of the world including South Asia, Central Asia and Africa.
Kadir Jailani said that Indonesia attaches importance to mutual economic and trade integration among ASEAN countries and its economic relations with the rest of the world were extremely important.
There are good economic and trade relations in the Pacific region and ASEAN countries and “we valued this partnership and cooperation in the future”.
He said that due to the Russia-Ukraine war, food security problem had arisen in the world and efforts were being made to resolve it which would yield good results.
The deputy foreign minister said that ASEAN is currently an emerging economic bloc in the world economically and commercially with free trade and other agreements with various countries including China and Pacific Asia through which Pakistan can reap the benefits through Indonesia.
“Talks are underway between the two sides to promote trade between the two countries, which can not be ruled out in the future as the Free Trade Agreement (FTA) will be signed between the two countries,” he apprised.
Talking about the promotion of tourism in Pakistan and Indonesia, he said that there were many opportunities for the promotion and cooperation of tourism in both the countries and tourism was an important sector of Indonesia’s economy.
He said that Pakistan was a very beautiful country and it was rich in natural beauty.
Kadir Jailani said that regular awareness was needed for the promotion of tourism in the two countries, for which people-to-people contacts on both sides would have to be enhanced.
He said that Pakistan and Indonesia were large countries with youth population in which cooperation of both the countries was very important for providing education and skills to the young population.