Pakistan, Indonesia to strengthen bilateral ties
Indonesian Ambassador Adam M. Tugio stated, "Indonesian companies are actively exploring investment opportunities within the Special Economic Zones linked to the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC)." He emphasized that Indonesia sees Pakistan as crucial for accessing Central Asian countries and the broader region.
He further elaborated, "We are in discussions with various Chambers of Commerce in Indonesia, and many Indonesian firms are contemplating investments in CPEC's Special Economic Zones. Currently, two Indonesian companies have established factories in Faisalabad and Sindh."
Ambassador Tugio underscored the significance of CPEC, saying, "CPEC is a pivotal connectivity project, encompassing not only infrastructure but also energy projects that will greatly benefit Pakistan's economic and social development."
Discussing bilateral relations, he added, "Pak-Indonesia relations span across political, security, economic, social, and cultural domains. There is substantial potential for strengthening ties in trade, culture, tourism, education, science and technology, environment, and defense."
Ambassador Tugio also prioritized economic diplomacy, highlighting the substantial scope for boosting bilateral trade. He pointed out, "Since the signing of the Pak-Indonesia Preferential Trade Agreement in 2013, bilateral trade has tripled, reaching an annual volume of $4.2 billion from $1.3 billion in 2013."
He stressed the need for diversifying trade, particularly due to limited traded products. For instance, Pakistan imports 75 percent of its palm oil from Indonesia and 7 percent of coal. Conversely, Pakistan exports significant volumes of textile and leather products to Indonesia. In terms of defense cooperation, he mentioned the possibility of collaboration in technology, citing Pakistan's offer of Jet Fighters to Indonesia and previous interactions between the two countries in this sector.
Ambassador Tugio highlighted the increasing trend of Pakistani students studying in East Asia and the growth in scholarships provided by Indonesia to Pakistani students, reaching 170 scholarships this year, up from 70 the previous year. Addressing the global challenge of terrorism and extremism, he emphasized cooperation between Pakistan and Indonesia, particularly between their counter-terrorism agencies, to enhance their capabilities in combating these threats.