Indian Business Delegation Visits Indonesia, Seeks to Expand Ties

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Aug. 27 – The Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI) and an Indian business delegation comprised of top executives commenced a mission trip to Jakarta, Indonesia earlier this week in an effort to further expand and develop business ties and look for potential new industries.

The delegation is comprised of high-profile business executives from 24 medium and large scale Indian firms that include leading Indian companies Modi Enterprises, Indo Rama Synthetics Limited, Mahindra & Mahindra Ltd. and Tata Motors.

According to FICCI chairwoman Naina Lal Kidwai, who is also country head for HSBC India and a director for HSBC Asia Pacific, these firms came into Indonesia on this trip with an aim to explore the plentiful business opportunities the country has to offer throughout a wide spectrum of various industries, which includes: energy, tourism, automotive, information technology and business process outsourcing, infrastructure, pharmaceuticals and consumer goods.

“We believe that the full potential for Indian companies in Indonesia has not yet been recognized,” Kidway commented.

Despite the potential not having been reached yet, foreign direct investment (FDI) from Indian firms into Indonesia totaled US$78.1 million across 58 projects last year, but it has already reached US$57.1 million throughout 59 projects within the first half of this year.

According to Indonesia’s Central Statistics Agency, bilateral trade between the two countries topped off at US$16.8 billion in 2012 (down 5 percent year-on-year from 2011). However, bilateral trade has already reached US$7.56 billion over the first half of 2013 (up 5.9 percent year-on-year for the same period in 2012). The two countries have set a target of US$25 billion in bilateral trade by 2015.

Negotiations on an Indonesia-India Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement (II-CECA) began a few years ago, but no follow-up meetings or negotiations have taken place since 2011 as of now. Gurjit Singh, Indian Ambassador to Indonesia, did however express optimism that talks between the two countries would start up again soon.

Singh added: “While we have comprehensive free trade agreements with some other countries, with Indonesia, our structure is a bit weak. We want to strengthen that structure through an agreement because Indonesia today is a more important country for our investment and trade.”

Indonesia is also currently negotiating a regional comprehensive economic partnership with India Australia, China, Japan, New Zealand and South Korea.

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