RI, India must establish cooperation: Regional Council

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Regional Representative Council (DPD) Chairman Irman Gusman said Indonesia and India must establish cooperation in various fields to reach their common trade target of US$45 billion in 2015.

"In 2013, the value of the trade between these two countries was recorded at US$15 billion. This year, they have set an ambitious trade target of US$45 billion," noted Irman while receiving Indian Vice President Mohammad Hamid Ansari at the Parliament Building here on Tuesday.

Vice President Ansari is also the chairman of the Indian State Council, just like the DPD in Indonesia.

He said the target could be achieved since the two countries have made progress in a number of fields.

Irman said Indonesia and India have an edge in technological fields, such as nuclear powered electricity plants, outer space, information technology and science. Indonesia has potential in the food and agricultural technology.

"If the two countries manage to have good cooperation, then both sides will mutually benefit and enjoy an advantage," the DPD chairman said.

The Capital Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) is committed to optimize Indian investments in Indonesia. This is important, considering that Indian investment increased by 44 percent during the January-September period this year, compared with the previous year.

In a press statement released here on Tuesday, BKPM Chief Franky Sibarani said the Indian investment during the January-September 2015 period reached US$32 million, up 44 percent from US$23 million in the same period a year earlier.

"India and Indonesia are two countries which share a historical closeness and are set to play strategic roles in deciding the future of the region," the BKPM head said while presenting his assessment of the Indonesia-India Business Forum in Jakarta on Tuesday.

Franky explained that the Indian investment in Indonesia is mostly in the mining sector, trade, electricity, gas and water.

India has the competence in information technology and in various service sectors.

"It has a very big potential. With economic value amounting to 10 trillion US dollars owned by the two countries, investment cooperation between the two nations has not yet reached the optimal level," said Franky.

Therefore, Franky was of the view that Indonesia needed to take steps to boost Indian investment in Indonesia.(*)