Deputy Head of the Guinean Chamber of Commerce and Industry Elhadj Baubacar Fofana had met with Indonesian Ambassador to Senegal and Guinea Mansyur Pangeran over the weekend in Conakry, Guinea.
According to Fofana, the ambassador`s visit to Conakry had ushered in a new era for the start of cooperation between Indonesia and Guinea in various fields.
To realize the cooperation, the Guinean Chamber of Commerce and Industry will visit Indonesia on January 10, 2018, to explore the various potential areas for establishing cooperation.
Guinea is also ready to participate in the Indonesia-Africa Forum 2018 and Trade Expo Indonesia 2018.
Fofana noted that the Guinean government had launched a new economic program for 2018, which is to align its economic cooperation in line with the ASEAN. The Guinean Chamber of Commerce and Industry has also mapped out key potential sectors to be explored with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) countries, including Indonesia.
According to Fofana, Guinea`s entrepreneurs have, so far, only focused on China and overlooked the fact that the ASEAN still has vast trade potential that is yet to be explored.
"Some 20 thousand Guinean entrepreneurs have worked with Chinese businessmen," Fofana noted.
The Guinean Chamber of Commerce and Industry had conducted a market survey. Data obtained showed that the prices of products from China are no longer competitive, and the quality is not up to the mark. The survey also indicated that the quality of similar products from the ASEAN is much better, and the prices are competitive.
The Guinean Chamber of Commerce and Industry has committed to cooperating with ASEAN countries, including Indonesia, and the Indonesian Embassy in Dakar is expected to facilitate the cooperation.
The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Guinea is ready to serve as a channel between Indonesian businessmen and their Guinean counterparts. The Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Guinea is optimistic of signing an MoU on cooperation with the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Ambassador Mansyur Pangeran expressed hope that the MoU between the two Chambers of Commerce and Industry would be realized in early 2018.
"The most appropriate momentum is the 2018 Indonesia-Africa Forum to be held on April 10-11, 2018, in Bali," the ambassador stated, expressing hope that the MoU to be signed would serve as an umbrella in strengthening trade cooperation between the two countries.
According to the ambassador, the visit of Guinea`s President, Alpha Conde, to Indonesia in 2016 was expected to open up opportunities for closer cooperation between both nations.
During his visit last year, President Conde, accompanied by Ambassador Pangeran, had visited the Indonesian aircraft industry in Bandung, West Java, and witnessed the making of some aircraft. The president had expressed interest to procure CN-235 aircraft.
Guinea, which was hit by an ebola virus outbreak in 2014, is currently experiencing a boom in bauxite mining that has made it one of the world`s largest bauxite producers despite its population being the poorest in the world.
Data obtained from the Indonesian Ministry of Trade showed that the total value of trade between Indonesia and Guinea in 2016 had reached US$28.2 million, with Indonesia enjoying a surplus, which was dominated by non-oil and gas sectors.
(Reported by Zeynita Gibbons/Uu.KR-LWA/INE/KR-BSR/F001)