Indonesia, Pakistan agree to enhance bilateral trade

Shanghai, China (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Pakistan have agreed to enhance bilateral trade, despite the negotiation that has come to a halt on the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA).

"Basically, Indonesia is open for trade with Pakistan," Indonesia`s Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita said here on Tuesday.

Lukita made his statement after a meeting with Secretary General of Pakistan Trade Ministry, Mohammad Younes Dagha, on the sideline of Indonesia-China Business Forum.

According to Lukita, Pakistan has asked Indonesia to increase its import from the country, to reduce its trade deficit.

Both governments have also discussed issues on PTA negotiation that was yet to reach significant progress.

The House of Representatives is yet to ratify the agreement. "I will raise the issue during the meeting of the Coordinating Ministry for Economic Affairs tomorrow," he noted.

Indonesia and Pakistan signed the PTA in 2012, which came into effect in 2013 after the ratification process in both countries.

After three years of the implementation, review, and negotiation process, the two governments agreed to amend it in January 2018, in order to create a more beneficial agreement for both countries.

Pakistan eyed coal supply from Indonesia to build its power plant. "There is a potential to export coal to Pakistan," Lukita explained.

The trade volume between Indonesia and Pakistan has reached US$1.8 billion during January-September 2018, of which $1.7 billion are non-oil and gas exports.

Indonesia`s imports from Pakistan during the period from non-oil and gas sector reached $467.4 million.

Reporting by Ahmad Wijaya
Editing by Sri Haryati