"Indonesia views Ethiopia as a market and important hub to promote our products and services," Deputy Foreign Minister A. M. Fachir told his Ethiopian counterpart Aklilu Hailemechael during a meeting in Addis Ababa.
According to a press release received by ANTARA on Thursday, the deputy minister was accompanied by business representatives from state-owned construction company PT Wijaya Karya and Indonesian Export Financing Agency or Indonesia Eximbank.
In a bid to boost trade and economic cooperation, Fachir proposed the establishment of a joint research on the mechanism of trade, economic, and investment cooperation and explore the initial discussion on counter purchase.
A joint research is necessary as five Indonesian companies are currently investing and operating in Ethiopia: food product company PT Indofood, detergent producer PT Sinar Antjol, laundry and soap producer PT Bukit Perak, and Clothing Apparel Group and garment company PT Sumber Bintang Rejeki.
In addition, the joint research is also needed for formulating a mechanism for trade transactions between both nations because there are limited constraints on hard currency in Ethiopia.
Fachir also proposed a trading scheme that could utilize the cargo airline facilities of Ethiopian Airlines, which recently opened a direct flight route connecting Jakarta to Addis Ababa.
The proposal was welcomed by Ethiopian Foreign Minister Hailemechael, and both parties agreed that the initial discussion on joint research would begin in October 2018 by utilizing the 2018 Trade Expo Indonesia activities and involving the participation of Ethiopian entrepreneurs in Indonesia.
Indonesia is Ethiopia`s largest trading partner in the ASEAN region, with bilateral trade value of US$293.37 million in 2017.
Ethiopia is a country, with a large domestic market and the second-largest population in Sub-Saharan Africa, reaching 102 million, and has the fastest economic growth in the world, which is close to 10 percent in 2017.
The strategic geographical location at the intersection between Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and Asia has made Ethiopia a major partner for Indonesian trade.
Reported by Yuni Arisandy
Edited by Yashinta Difa Pramudyani, Rahmad Nasution