Indonesia, Canada vow to boost bilateral economic ties

Indonesia, Canada vow to boost bilateral economic ties

Illustration of Indonesia and Canada friendships. (123rf.com)

We want to strengthen the cooperation between Indonesia and Canada."
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau have expressed their commitment to intensify cooperation in various fields, particularly in the economic field.

The two held their first bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the G20 Summit in Turkey on November 15, 2015 where they committed themselves to such a strong relationship.

"We want to strengthen the cooperation between Indonesia and Canada," President Jokowi said after the bilateral meeting.

"We want to strengthen relations with a country that has the worlds largest Muslim population," the Canadian Prime Minister said.

The trade balance between Indonesia and Canada reached US$2.6 billion in 2014.

Cooperation in trade and investment between the two countries is wide open.

President Jokowi, who was accompanied by Foreign Affairs Minister Retno Marsudi, Minister/State Secretary Pratikno and Finance Minister Bambang Brodjonegoro, called on the Canadian Prime Minister to open his countrys market wider to Indonesian products, such as rubber, paper, furniture, electronic goods, footwear, coffee and tea.

Jokowi also invited Canadian businessmen to invest in Indonesia, particularly in the field of agriculture, technology and infrastructure, during their first bilateral meeting held on the sidelines of the G20 Summit, here on Sunday.

He explained that the Indonesian government has issued a number of economic policy packages to improve the investment climate in the country.

The President hoped that Canadian businessmen could take advantage from business opportunities in Indonesia.

The two leaders also agreed to intensify cooperation in the areas of efficient and renewable energy as well as peatland management.

In the meantime, Indonesian Ambassador to Canada Teuku Faizasyah has invited Canadian business leaders to take advantage of the investment facilities offered by Indonesia.

"President Joko Widodo and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau encouraged expansion of economic relations between the two countries," Minister Counselor Economic at the Indonesian embassy in Canada, K. Candra Negara, quoted the ambassador as saying.

Ambassador Teuku Faizasyah made the statement when opening a business forum held by the Indonesian Consulate General in Vancouver, Canada, on November 18, 2015.

The ambassador said in the bilateral meeting held in Antalya, Turkey, that Prime Minister Trudeau promised assistance in the development of a number of important infrastructure projects through the scheme of Public Private Partnership (PPP).

"Canadian business leaders should not miss the opportunity to avail the investment facility and the strong commitment of the two leaders to promote economic relations," Faizasyah said.

He said the potential is big for the two countries to expand economic and investment relations.

In the past year, the Indonesian government has launched economic reforms, simplifying licensing procedures for foreign investment.

Amid the slump that hit the global economy, Indonesia managed to chalk up a fairly strong growth of 4.7 percent , he said.

He said Canadian high technology and aggressive Canadian businessmen are needed to help boost economic development in Indonesia, especially in the infrastructure and energy sectors.

Indonesian delegation to the forum included 35 business leaders and government officials.

Indonesia and Canada established formal diplomatic relations when the two countries signed an agreement to open diplomatic missions in their respective capitals on October 9, 1952, according to information available on the official website of the Indonesian embassy in Ottawa.

Canadian investment in Indonesia reached USD148 million in 2010); USD2.2 million in 2011; USD8.5 million in 2012; USD124 million in 2013 and USD133 million as of Q3 2014, data of the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) showed.

The realization of Canadian investment in Q3 2014 resulted in 24 projects, namely mining (8); industry (2); construction (1); transportation, warehouse and telecommunications (1); housing, industrial and office areas (1); and other services (1). The mining sector has the largest share of the investment, valued at almost USD130 million.

Meanwhile, data quoted from Statistics Canada shows Canadian investment in Indonesia have reached CAD3.203 billion. In 2013, Indonesia ranked at number 25th as the destination country for Canadian investment abroad with 0.4 percent share. Indonesia is also the main destination country for Canadian investment in Southeast Asia.

Canadian companies that have operations in Indonesia included Talisman Energy, Sherritt, Manulife Financial and Sunlife Financial.

Total trade between Indonesia and Canada had grown tremendously between 2009 - 2013 with an average increase of almost 18 percent. Total trade between both countries between January-October 2014 reached USD2.2 billion or a decrease of 8.42 percent, compared to the same period of 2013.

Likewise, Indonesias export between 2009-2013 showed an average increase of 9.70 percent. Between January - October 2014, Indonesias exports to Canada reached USD638.0 million or a slight decrease of 3.94 percent, compared to the same period of 2013.

Indonesias import from Canada between 2009-2013 increased at an average of 21.63 percent. Indonesias imports from Canada in January - October 2014 were registered at almost USD1.6 billion but decreased by 10.12 percent, compared to the same period of 2013.

The products the country mainly exports to Canada are rubber products, cocoa, coffee, tires, toys, garments, footwear, electronic appliances.

Its imports from Canada include potassium chloride, wheat, chemicals, machinery, potatoes and food products, according to the Indonesian embassy.
(T.F001/INE/KR-BSR/H-YH)

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