Indonesia promotes trade with non-traditional markets
Jakarta - Indonesia is increasing its efforts to penetrate non-traditional markets, with preparations for a trade and investment forum with Latin American and Caribbean countries, and a new platform for doing business with Central and Eastern European countries.
Since his first term, President Joko Widodo has pushed government agencies to boost exports to non-traditional markets, as part of his instruction for diplomats to focus more on economic diplomacy. As part of these efforts, the Foreign Ministry has embarked on a series of trade and investment promotion activities to a number of far-flung markets in recent years.
The Indonesia-Latin America and Caribbean Business Forum (INA-LAC Business Forum) 2021 is slated for October 14-15 Earlier, Indonesia suceffully hosted the first forum in 2019, and the second one in 2020.
According to director general of America and Europe at the Foreign Ministry I Gede Ngurah Swajaya, as a country with the biggest economy in Southeast Asia, Indonesia has the potential to take advantage of the Latin American and Caribbean economies.
In 2020, total trade between Indonesia with Latin America and the Caribbean region increased to 8.25 billion USD from 7.75 billion USD in 2019, Swajaya informed. In the first half of 2021, the total trade between Indonesia and the region reached 4.91 billion USD, an increase of 13.83 percent from the same period the previous year.
Indonesia's main exports to Latin America and the Caribbean are vegetable oils, vehicles, electronics, rubber, and footwear. Meanwhile, its main imports are animal feed, cereals, sugar, cotton, and chocolate. As the pandemic is still limiting movement across countries, the INA-LAC 2021 will be held jointly through face-to-face and virtual meetings, Swajaya said.
Based on the success of INA-LAC and other trade and investment forums, the Foreign Ministry is looking to redouble efforts in Central and Eastern Europe through the Indonesia-Central and Eastern European Business Forum (INA- CEE).
In the January - July period, Indonesia gained earned 2.6 billion USD from export of goods to Central and Eastern European countries, maily rubber, crude palm oil, footwear, seafood, coffee, furniture, electronics and textiles. Indonesia's largest trading partners in this region include Russia, Turkey and Ukraine.