Held in Kazan, capital of the Republic of Tatarstan, Russian Federation, on April 24-26, the series of activities in which Indonesia participated included the Russia Halal Expo, Indonesia-Russia Business Forum, Kazan Modest Fashion Show, and Forum of Young Diplomats of the OIC Countries, First Secretary of the Indonesian Embassy in Moscow, Enjay Diana noted in a statement to Antara London on Sunday.
Indonesia's keenness to make inroads into the Russian halal industry market was apparent from the presence of seven Indonesian companies that enlivened the 100 square-meter Indonesian Pavilion located at the entrance to the strategic exhibition venue.
The seven Indonesian companies -- Indofood, Garudafood, Mayora (Torabika manufacturer), Incofood (Indocafe producer), Paragon Technology & Innovation (Wardah cosmetics manufacturer), Shafira, and IRD by Indriya R. Dani -- produce food, cosmetic, and fashion items.
The products of Indofood and Torabika have made leeway into the Russian market, while Indocafe, new to producing Shafira Muslim clothing and halal cosmetics, is exploring the potential Russian market.
The Indonesian Pavilion has drawn the attention of visitors restricted not just to businesspersons eyeing opportunities to cooperate with Indonesia and for Indonesian products but also members of the general public seeking information on Indonesian products.
Visitors at the expo were also offered coffee, instant noodles, and other packaged foods. These food products bore halal labelings.
During a visit to the Indonesian Pavilion, President of the Republic of Tatarstan Rustam Minnikhanov welcomed the presence of the Indonesian Pavilion and expressed optimism that Indonesian businessmen would further intensify the trade value between both sides.
Indonesian Ambassador to the Russian Federation and Republic of Belarus Wahid Supriyadi highlighted the importance of Indonesian businesspersons playing an active part to penetrate the huge Russian market.
Expectations ride high over Tatarstan and Indonesian halal products penetrating other Russian regions, with a largely Muslim populace, such as Dagestan, Chechnya, and Bashkorstortan.
In 2018, the trade value between Indonesia and Russia had reached US$2.5 billion, and the presence of Indonesian businessmen was believed to boost the volume of Indonesian-Russian trade.
In addition to holding the Indonesia-Russia Business Forum at the Kazan Summit event, the Indonesian Embassy in Moscow aided a meeting between Indonesian businessmen and the Association of Russian Muslim Entrepreneurs at the Grand Kazan Hotel.
Russian Muslim Entrepreneurs Association President Aidar Shagimardanov has responded positively to the initiative of this business meeting and vowed to bring along a delegation of Russian Muslim businessmen to Indonesia in the near future.
"We must tap into this open market by utilizing networks owned by the Russian Muslim Employers' Association," Ambassador Wahid stated. EDITED BY INE