Thursday, November 26, 2015


Jakarta, Nov 26, 2015 (Antara) - President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) and Vietnamese Prime Minister Nguyen Tan Dung have committed to nearly double bilateral trade turnover to US$10 billion by 2018, from some US$6 billion currently.
        The two leaders agreed to enhance relations between both nations, particularly in the fields of trade and investment, during a bilateral meeting held on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, on November 22, 2015.
       "Indonesia's investment in Vietnam is also growing rapidly to reach almost US$500 million. We hope the Vietnamese government would pay attention," President Jokowi affirmed.
         According to Ari Dwipayana of Jokowi's presidential communications team, the president has also offered Indonesia's strategic products to Vietnam, and the offer was welcomed by Prime Minister Nguyen.
        Both Jokowi and Nguyen have also agreed to expedite negotiations on the exclusive economic zone (EEZ) between the two countries.

        "I hope the negotiations on the EEZ would be completed in December 2015," Jokowi remarked.     
    In the bilateral meeting with the Vietnamese leader, the Indonesian head of state was accompanied by Chief Economic Minister Darmin Nasution, Coordinating Minister for Political, Legal and Security Affairs Luhut Panjaitan, Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs Rizal Ramli, Trade Minister Tomas Lembong, Cabinet Secretary Pramono Aung, and Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, among others.  
   "I am happy that we could meet again. I highly laud the cooperation between Indonesia and Vietnam that has been established so far," President Jokowi noted.
        To further boost Indonesia's investment in Vietnam, the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) said it will facilitate investment plans by both state and private companies in Vietnam as well as in other ASEAN member countries.
         "It is in line with the government's plan to benefit from the implementation of the ASEAN Economic Community," BKPM Chief Franky Sibarani recently noted in a press statement.
         The BKPM estimated that Indonesian investment in Vietnam had already reached around US$2 billion, including US$500 million in the past five years. 
   Based on data provided by the BKPM, there are 31 Indonesian companies investing in Vietnam in various areas: cement, medicines, property, packaging, paint, food, chemicals, and freight forwarding. 
    "Most of the companies are private firms and are quite popular, such as PT Semen Indonesia Tbk, one of the largest cement producers in the ASEAN," he pointed out.
        While seeking to attract foreign investment into the country, Indonesian state and private companies should also harbor regional and global ambitions, he emphasized.
        Sibarani said the BKPM will utilize Indonesian representative offices abroad to arrange a meeting between Indonesian companies and prospective foreign partners.
        "The BKPM's representative offices have also facilitated investment by Indonesian companies in Singapore and other ASEAN countries; Sydney, Australia; Japan; Seoul, South Korea; New York, the United States; London, the United Kingdom; Taipei, Taiwan; and Abu Dhabi, the United Arab Emirates," he said.
        Franky noted that Indonesia, with a per capita income of more than US$3.5 thousand and even reaching up to US$ nine thousand in Jakarta and Surabaya, ranks ahead of Vietnam, the Philippines, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia.
       It is time for Indonesian companies to expand their operations abroad, he affirmed. 
  "In fact, several state companies, such as Pertamina, Semen Indonesia, and Telkom already have business units abroad," he pointed out.  
  In April 2015, Indonesian Foreign Affairs Minister Retno L.P. Marsudi paid a two-day visit to Hanoi to strengthen bilateral relations between the two ASEAN member nations.
       Indonesia attached special importance to developing ties with Vietnam, Minister Marsudi informed Prime Minister Nguyen, the Vietnam News Service reported.
       The minister expressed belief that bilateral relations would grow stronger in the coming years.
       The two countries agreed to accelerate the implementation of their action plan on enhancing the Vietnam-Indonesia Strategic Partnership in the 2014-2018 period in addition to forging economic, trade, and investment ties.
       Prime Minister Nguyen expressed confidence that the Indonesian finance minister's visit will contribute to stepping up traditional ties and strategic partnership between both nations. 
  He pointed out that room still existed for both sides to tap their potential for cooperation, particularly in the fields of economy, trade, and investment.
       In the meeting with Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Pham Binh Minh, Marsudi and Minh agreed to work harder to meet the target of boosting bilateral trade to US$10 billion by 2018, according to the Vietnamese media.    
  Bilateral relations between Indonesia and Vietnam have increased at a swift pace after the two inked a strategic partnership agreement in 2003. 
The two countries signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in the agricultural field and a MoU on cooperation in the fields of energy and mineral resources in
June 2013 during Vietnamese President Truong Tan Sang's visit to Jakarta. 
  "We agreed to increase trade. In 2012, the bilateral trade between Indonesia and Vietnam was recorded at US$4.8 billion in 2012. We have been resolved to increase it to US$5 billion in 2015, and I even propose to increase it further to reach US$10 billion in 2018," the then Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono stated after holding a one-on-one meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart in Jakarta on June 27, 2013. 

 26-11-2015 16:35:40

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