Jakarta (ANTARA) - Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut Binsar Pandjaitan discussed plans to import cattle and soybeans during his meeting with South African President Cyril Ramaphosa.

During his working visit to Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tuesday, the minister is optimistic that the agreement regarding the import plan can be finalized and signed ahead of President Joko Widodo's (Jokowi's) visit to the Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa (BRICS) Summit in August 2023.

“One of the important agendas that we discussed is the preparation for President Jokowi's participation in the upcoming BRICS Summit. This meeting provides a platform for productive discussions, with both parties hoping to sign an agreement regarding the import of cattle and soybeans," Pandjaitan noted in a statement received here, Wednesday.

The minister remarked that as a first step, Indonesia is exploring the possibility of importing 50 thousand cattle and 300 thousand tons of soybeans from South Africa to strengthen and expand bilateral trade in the agricultural sector.

According to Pandjaitan, Indonesia currently imports over US$1 billion worth of cattle and more than US$2 billion worth of soybeans every year.

During the visit, state-owned oil company, Pertamina, also held discussions with its business partners from South Africa regarding the opportunity to supply electricity to South Africa.

Pertamina President Director Nicke Widyawati was also present during the visit to showcase Indonesia's commitment to the potential of this partnership.

Moreover, the Coordinating Ministry for Maritime Affairs and Investment has built cooperation with prominent Pan-African businessman Robert Gumede of the Guma Group to enhance business relations between Indonesian state-owned enterprises (SOEs), Indonesian companies in South Africa, and other African countries where the company operates.

Pandjaitan noted that one of the important joint projects involved the mining of critical minerals for electric vehicles (EV), business-to-business (B2B) trading, energy security, oil and gas, and climate change.

He remarked that the trip to South Africa was not just a working visit but had a symbolic meaning reflecting the Spirit of Bandung in 1955 that contributed to the decolonization of South Africa.

"This, combined with our intention to share our experience in mineral processing and our vision to create a competitive industrial ecosystem for lithium batteries and electric vehicles, show our commitment to a bright future of strong economic cooperation and mutually beneficial growth between the two countries," he remarked.

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Translator: Ade Irma J, Resinta S
Editor: Sri Haryati
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