Jakarta (ANTARA) - Deputy Minister of Trade Jerry Sambuaga stated that China's Special Administrative Region Hong Kong has become a solid partner of Indonesia.

"The total value of trade between Indonesia and Hong Kong reached US$2.1 billion during the January-March 2023 period," he remarked during the memorandum of understanding signing ceremony, titled "Indonesia-Hong Kong: Partnering for Success," held in Jakarta on Wednesday.

Last year, the total trade value between the two parties had reached US$5.9 billion, he pointed out.

Sambuaga further elaborated that the promising total trade value between Indonesia and Hong Kong serves as proof that both parties have been enjoying a highly sound level of bilateral relations.

"I would also like to appreciate the ASEAN-Hong Kong, China Free Trade Agreement (AHKFTA). Why? Because, currently, this year, we (Indonesia) are chairing ASEAN, the regional bloc, whose population reaches approximately 700 million people, exceeding that of the European Union," he noted.

During its ASEAN chairmanship this year, Indonesia is carrying the theme of "ASEAN Matters: Epicentrum of Growth" that spotlights its focus on the efforts to retain the bloc's position as an economic growth center.

At the 42nd ASEAN Summit held on May 9-11 in Labuan Bajo, East Nusa Tenggara, the bloc's leaders produced several important documents, including the Declaration on Advancing Regional Payment Connectivity and Promoting Local Currency Transactions.

Indonesia has also ratified the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership agreed upon by ASEAN and its five partner countries: Australia, New Zealand, Japan, South Korea, and China.

"So, it (the positive trend) sends a clear positive signal to Indonesia, as ASEAN's chair, and opens the way to explore other opportunities, including investment and other schemes of cooperation with any parties, especially with Hong Kong," he remarked.

In addition, Indonesia has finalized as many as 34 trade agreements with numerous countries from five continents.

"This proves that Indonesia is playing a vital and crucial role. I am optimistic that Hong Kong and other parties will recognize Indonesia as one of the vital players," Sambuaga said.

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Translator: M. Baqir, Tegar Nurfitra
Editor: Rahmad Nasution
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