London, (ANTARA News) - Indonesia has promoted national exported-products in Belarus through various programs, such as business forum, seminar, and exhibition in Minsk, Belarus on November 22-25, 2018, according to a statement from the Indonesian Embassy in Minsk received by Antara here Sunday.

The Indonesian Ambassador to the Russian Federation concurrently to the Republic of Belarus, M. Wahid Supriyadi said the Indonesian government needed to make a breakthrough to increase Indonesia`s exports to non-traditional markets through Belarus.

Although it only has a population of around ten million, Belarus can be the gateway to the European Union, and Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) markets whose population around 183 million people.

The promotional event also commemorates the 25th anniversary of Indonesia-Belarus diplomatic relations.

The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the Ministry of Tourism and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry of Belarus and Belarusian State University also support these programs.

The Indonesia-Belarus business forum which was held with a theme of Expanding Indonesia and Belarus Business and Networks was participated by Indonesian and Belarus businesses.

Seven Indonesian companies participating in the event were Artha Graha Group, PT Kapal Api Global, PT Multi Strada Arah Sarana, PT Anugerah Bersama, PT Dua Kelinci, PT Rodamas, and Global MICE Indonesia.

The ambassador hoped that there would be a follow-up of the promotional event that would increase Indonesia`s export products to Belarus to balance the trade value of the two countries which is currently in the deficit for Indonesia.

"Of the total trade worth US$205.3 million, our deficit is around US$201 million. Therefore, we should penetrate the Belarus market," Ambassador Wahid said.

Data from the Indonesian Ministry of Trade show that the trade value of Indonesia and Belarus in 2017 was US$205.3 million, up 23.27 percent from 2016.

Indonesia has a deficit because it imports a number of products from Belarus, such as potassium (raw materials for fertilizer) and dump trucks. Meanwhile, Indonesia`s exports to Belarus include food and fisheries products, natural rubber and palm oil.

The Chairman of the Belarus Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Vladimir Ulakhovich, who was present at the business forum, supported the business forum and exhibition as the events were one of media to get to know each other`s potential and establish long-term cooperation, especially in the industrial sector.

According to him, Indonesia is a key and active country, as well as a potential market in the ASEAN region.

Belarus is one of the fractions of the Soviet Union which joined the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) together with Russia, Kazakhstan, Armenia and Kyrgyzstan.

Indonesia is currently conducting negotiations with Eurasian Economic Commission (EEC) on the Free Trade Area (FTA) and gets support from Belarus.

Besides trade, the Belarus tourism sector is also potential for Indonesia. The number of Belarus tourists to Indonesia increases every year. Data from the Indonesian Ministry of Tourism show that the number of Belarus tourists to Indonesia in 2017 was 4,098, up 31 percent from 2016.

The direct flight of Moscow-Bali which was available on October 28, 2018 has been increasing the number of Belarus tourists to Indonesia. The flight makes Belarusians easier to go to Indonesia through Moscow and it shortens travel time to Bali.

Reporting by Zeynita Gibbons, Libertina W Ambari
Editing by Yosep Haryadi

Reporter: Antara
Editor: Suharto
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