Jakarta (ANTARA) - Indonesia's relations with China are concentrated largely on economic diplomacy in the trade, tourism, and investment (TTI) sectors by capitalizing on the plethora of existing opportunities.

Trade and investment partnership between Indonesia and China recovered amid the ongoing global COVID-19 pandemic. Merely the tourism sector had yet to show signs of recovery.

"Hence, we are working with the Ministry of Tourism and Creative Economy and the Bali Tourism Board to continue to promote Indonesian tourism, including by preparing digital promotional materials for 'Work from Bali' and readying tourist destinations, albeit with stringent health protocols in place," Indonesian Ambassador to China Djauhari Oratmangun told ANTARA on Wednesday.

Oratmangun noted that in the first semester of 2020, merely 202,204 Chinese tourist arrivals to Indonesia were recorded through various entry points, or a decrease by 80.74 percent, from the corresponding period in 2019.

In the last two months, China’s tourism sector has begun to grow, likewise with MICE activities, including exhibitions that had started to be organized. Among the last major events was an international auto show held in Wuhan in which thousands of people visited daily, with stringent health protocols being applied.

"Changes in the people's way of living in this pandemic situation actually open up new opportunities for the Indonesia-China cooperation," the ambassador noted.

The Indonesian Embassy in Beijing has also held several economic diplomacy activities in the TTI sectors by utilizing digital platforms and influencers.

"This is part of our efforts to support the task of the Team for the Acceleration of Economic Recovery (TPPE) formed by our Ministry of Foreign Affairs," he stated.

The Indonesian Embassy in Beijing also encouraged increased cooperation in the areas of digital economy and value-added industries, particularly in the health sector and electric vehicles.

Indonesia has also pioneered and established e-commerce, financial technology, and digital infrastructure partnerships with leading companies in China, including ByteDance, Meituan Inc, Alibaba Ant Financial, Jumore, JD.com, Baidu Inc, and Tencent Holdings Ltd.

"Currently, Indonesia has five unicorns and one decacorn, some of which have established cooperation with Chinese companies," the ambassador noted.

In the meantime, in the first half of 2020, the total trade between the two countries was valued at US$35.6 billion (Rp527 trillion).

Some of Indonesia's leading products -- coal, iron and steel, swallow's nest, frozen fish, tropical fruit, packaged fruit, canned fish, footwear, household utensils, processed wood, and electronics -- had recorded a notable rise in the value of exports to China.

China remains the second-largest investor in Indonesia after Singapore, with a value of US$2.4 billion (Rp35.5 trillion), an increase of nine percent from the corresponding period in the previous year. Related news: South China Sea: Indonesia asks China to honor UNCLOS
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Translator: M Irfan I, Fardah
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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