Speaking at a seminar on "Indonesian Economic Diplomacy in Central Asia" here on Wednesday, Hery Saripudin of the Research and Development Policy Affairs division of the ministry stated that Indonesia needs to increase its trade volume with several Central Asian countries, especially Kazakhstan due to its strong economy.
The World Bank classified Kazakhstan as one of the upper middle-income countries with a GDP of US$231.9 billion in 2013, he pointed out.
"Indonesia can increase trade with Central Asian nations by using Kazakhstan as a hub, given its strategic position that can connect us with some big markets such as China and Russia," Saripudin affirmed.
The 10th largest oil producer in the world, Kazakhstan has oil reserves of 40 billion barrels, which is around 1.8 percent of the worlds total oil reserves.
Moreover, some large countries, including the United States, Russia and China, have begun to expand their investment in Kazakhstan.
Saripudin further noted that bilateral trade between Indonesia and Kazakhstan had witnessed a downward trend in the 2010 to 2014 period, recording a drop of some 3.42 percent.
In addition, Director of South and Central Asia of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Listyowati revealed that Indonesia was considering establishing car tire and instant noodles factories in Kazakhstan.
"A memorandum of understanding has been signed by private sector companies of both countries. However, it will take time to realize the construction of the two factories," she said.
Listyowati added that so far, Indonesia has only exported car tires to Kazakhstan instead of building a factory there due to certain obstacles. These included high costs of logistics and transportation.
However, Indonesia needs to follow the ways of Singapore and Malaysia. The two countries have introduced direct flights and cargo plane services to some nations in Central Asia, she pointed out.(*)