"We should find ways to enhance trade cooperation between Indonesia and Pakistan for products besides palm oil products," the Indonesian Ambassador to Pakistan, Iwan Suyudhie Amri, said in a statement received by Antara here Sunday.
The total value of bilateral trade in 2017 was US$2.64 billion, with an Indonesian surplus of US$2.15 billion. Of this amount, palm oil accounts for 60 percent of Indonesia`s exports, Ambassador Iwan noted.
To boost the bilateral trade, the Indonesian Embassy in Islamabad has visited the Multan Chamber of Commerce and Industry (MCCI). Multan`s position is quite strategic as the fourth largest city in Punjab province, after Lahore, Faisalabad, and Sialkot with a population of 4.5 million. Multan is also rich in natural resources and a producer of agricultural and textile products.
"There are several commodities traded between Indonesia and Pakistan whose added-values can be increased. This opportunity will provide greater benefits for the economies of both countries," Ambassador Iwan said.
During interacting with Multan entrepreneurs, Ambassador Iwan invited them to create a more productive and sustainable trade relationship.
Various advantages possessed by Multan as a center for agricultural, textile, processed food, leather, fertilizer, soap, cosmetics and LPG industries can be a foundation for increasing the trade diversification with Indonesia.
The entrepreneurs in Multan invite Indonesian companies to invest under joint ventures for packaging of processed-drink products.
"Multan is very rich in fruits, but lacks of technology and good expertise in packing for juice like Indonesia," MCCI President Asrar Ahmad Malik said.
Multan entrepreneurs also asked Indonesian businesses to cooperate on environmentally friendly herbal fertilizers for agricultural crops, and hoped to improve the capacity building and women entrepreneurs empowerment.
They also hoped that there would be cooperation in the field of tourism, exchange of trade mission delegations, and participation in various trade fairs.
"We will immediately follow up on requests from Multan businessmen," Ambassador Iwan said.
To introduce Indonesia and its various domestic products, Multan businesses are invited to participate in the Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI) on October 24-28, 2018 in Banten.
TEI is expected to open more opportunities for mutual trade and investment cooperation for food and beverage products, as well other products.
One of the Multan entrepreneurs, Muhammad Yasin, who is also an importer for Indonesian product and has been in business with Indonesian businessmen for more than 23 years, delivered various inputs on how to find opportunities and how to do business with partners in Indonesia.
"We have to communicate several times with Indonesian businessmen, visit Jakarta and Bali first to start a business with Indonesian businessmen," he explained.
The businessmen, who claimed they are not yet fully familiar with Indonesia, were increasingly enthusiastic about Yasin`s success story in doing business with his Indonesian counterparts.
"I have visited nearly half of the countries around the world, and I have tried to do business with many people I met, and Indonesia is my life choice," Yasin said.
At the TEI 2018 he is nominated for the Primaduta Award by the Government of Indonesia.
Primaduta Award is one of the Indonesian government`s (the Ministry of Trade) programs to increase the growth of Indonesian exports to global markets.
The awardees are buyers who have been loyal in buying Indonesian products on a frequent basis (as evidenced by import transactions over a period of five years) and contributing to an increase of Indonesia`s exports, as well as developing products which are purchased from Indonesia.
Reporting by Mohammad Anthoni
Editinb by Libertina Widyamurti Ambari