Jakarta (ANTARA) - Eswatini supports the development of economic cooperation between Indonesia and countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region, according to a written statement issued by the Indonesian Embassy in Pretoria and received here on Wednesday.

"We never cease to encourage the Indonesian Business Community to continue to explore non-traditional markets in the Sub-Saharan Africa. To this end, Eswatini can become an alternative destination for Indonesian products in this continent," Indonesian Ambassador to Eswatini Salman Al Farisi stated.

Al Farisi delivered the statement in his remarks on Indonesia's participation at the 2019 Eswatini International Trade Fair (EITF) held in the biggest city of Manzini on August 30 to September 9, 2019.

Ambassador Al Farisi stated that the launch of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) can be a consideration for Indonesian businessmen to explore the Southern African region.

He also pointed to some recent developments, such as the completion of the Indonesia-Mozambique Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA). The agreement is a driving force for Indonesian producers to further penetrate non-traditional African markets.

Mozambique, with a strategic seaport, can serve as an entry point to the Sub-Saharan Africa Region.

"With the completion of the said agreement, penetration into the Eswatini market will be easier, given the fact that the distance between the Maputo Port in Mozambique and Eswatini is considerably less," Al Farisi stated.

EITF is the largest international trade exhibition in Eswatini that is held annually. King of Eswatini, Mswati III, this year officially opened the exhibition.

At the exhibition, the Indonesian Pavilion features tourism promotion and various Indonesian products, including coffee, tea, instant noodles, spices, jelly, handicrafts, and spa and herbal products.

In order to mirror Indonesia's capacity, the Indonesian Pavilion also features strategic industrial products, including miniature of trains by PT INKA, tanks by PT PINDAD, salt water-fueled lamps, and building construction products.

The visitors, including King Mswati III, were keenly interested in the promotion of tourism and Indonesian products displayed at the Pavilion. King Mswati III, in particular, instructed some Eswatini's officials to further develop cooperation with Indonesia, including in the renewable solar energy sector.

Some visitors also showed keenness in Indonesian products and were upbeat about the products being more easily found at Eswatini. Some Indonesian products that have penetrated the Eswatini market include pharmaceutical products, textiles, and motor vehicles.

The Government of Indonesia, through the Indonesian Embassy in Pretoria and the Indonesian Honorary Consul in Mbabane, Eswatini, always seeks opportunities to intensify bilateral relations between both nations through developing south-south cooperation and making Eswatini an alternative hub for penetrating the African market.

Reporter: Yuni Arisandy Sinaga
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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