"We have come (to Riyadh) with the Indonesian business delegation to further strengthen bilateral relations between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia through the plan to establish (more) trade cooperation,” he said in a statement received here on Monday.
The cooperation aims to balance the trade balance as well as expand market opportunities and access for the main and potential export products of the two countries, he informed.
He made the statement during a meeting with Saudi Minister of Trade, Majid bin Abdullah Al Qasabi, in Riyadh on Sunday (January 22, 2023) local time. The meeting was held as part of the Indonesian trade mission, which visited Saudi Arabia from January 21 to 23.
"We are certain that this trade cooperation plan will improve the bilateral trade relations between the two countries," the Indonesian minister said.
Indonesia and Saudi Arabia have agreed to encourage their business players to meet at a business forum to explore opportunities to expedite the increase of bilateral trade, he added.
The business forum will involve several large business actors from the two countries, especially those engaged in the food and beverages, agricultural, fishery, textile, automotive, as well as manufacturing industries, he said.
Al Qasabi welcomed the efforts made to increase trade cooperation between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia, both in the bilateral and regional framework. He then urged that the cooperation plan be discussed at the technical level without delay by the two countries.
"Intensive communication between the government and the business sector is very important for encouraging an increased bilateral trade between the two countries," he stated.
From January to November 2022, the total trade between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia was recorded at US$7 billion, up 45.42 percent year on year (yoy).
During the same period, Indonesia's exports to Saudi Arabia reached US$1.84 billion, comprising oil and gas exports of US$200 thousand and the rest being non-oil and gas exports.
Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia ranked 24th as an export destination country for Indonesia. Indonesia's main export products to Saudi Arabia included motor cars, palm oil, prepared/preserved fish, sauces, and plywood.
Meanwhile, Indonesia’s imports from Saudi Arabia touched US$5.17 billion, consisting of oil and gas imports of US$4.33 billion and non-oil and gas imports of US$842.30 million.
The main imported commodities included crude petroleum oils, petroleum oils, petroleum gases, acyclic alcohols, and ethylene polymers.
Related news: Hasan leads trade mission to Saudi Arabia
Related news: Govt expects more Indonesian products being available in Saudi Arabia