Trade minister sees Africa as potential market for Indonesian products

Trade minister sees Africa as potential market for Indonesian products

Trade Minister ,Enggartiasto Lukita was in the Indonesian Embassy building in Washington DC,, the United States on Monday . (Antara/M Razi Rahman)

Washington DC, (ANTARA News) - Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita has called on Indonesian exporters to explore African markets, which have high potential for Indonesian products.

"African countries have high potential," Lukita said here on Monday.

According to the minister, the condition of several African countries is similar to that of Indonesia in the 1970s and the 1980s when it intensified development programs.

The ministry is exploring trade agreements with African nations such as Mozambique and Tunisia.

Indonesia has the potential to export steel and motorcycles which are in high demand in Africa, he noted.

Arlinda, the director general of national export development of the Trade Ministry, confirmed that Indonesia is currently negotiating trade agreements with several African countries.

This year, trade agreements with Mozambique, Tunisia, and Morocco are expected to be signed.

Tunisia and Morocco could become strategic partners because they have access to European markets.

Geographically, Tunisia is close to Italy and France, while Morocco is not far from Spain and Portugal.

Indonesia could export tuna to Tunisia and Morocco, according to Arlinda.

Meanwhile, Lukita is leading an Indonesian trade mission delegation to the United States (US) from Jan 14 to 19, 2019.

"This working visit to the US is one of the strategies carried out to achieve non-oil and gas exports, which are targeted to increase 7.5 percent as compared to last year, or $175.9 billion," Lukita remarked in a statement on Monday (Jan 14).

The working visit is one of the first steps to improve the performance of national exports.

The minister revealed that efforts to improve export performance must be done as early as possible amid worries about a global economic slowdown.

A total of 15 entrepreneurs participated in the trade mission this time. The participants were engaged in various fields, such as palm oil, aluminum and steel, seafood, soybeans and wheat, cotton, car tires, gold and jewelry, and beef.

The Minister of Industry Airlangga Hartarto earlier encouraged that the products produced by the furniture industry could be exported to the United States.

Reporting by Razi Rahman, Farddah Assegaf
Editing by Suharto