Didi Sumedi: “Indonesia Pakistan Can Build & Enhance Cooperation in Various Sectors Including Defense, Textile, Halal Food, Education




Tazeen Akhtar from Jakarta Indonesia
Mr. DIDI SUMEDI, the Director General of National Export Development,Ministry of Trade of The Republic of Indonesia has said that Indonesia and Pakistan can build and enhance cooperation in various sectors including Defense, Textile, Halal Food, Education and others.
He shared his views in an interview to this scribe at the sidelines of 38th Trade Expo Indonesia in Jakarta that was inaugurated on 18 Oct and continued offline till 22 Oct while it is open online till 22 Dec 2023.
Here is the interview in Q n A format for information  of investors, businessmen and for all who have interest in working with Indonesian partners. Pakistani business delegations from Islamabad, Faisalabad and Karachi were also present at the occasion.
Q- Please share brief details about the Trade Expo – What is the purpose of hosting the Expo and What are your expectations?
A- TEI presents a hybrid concept that is expected to become a connecting platform for businesses, especially national exporters and international buyers, to establish business cooperation in an effort to leverage national non-oil and gas exports., which will take place at ICE BSD on October 18 – 22, 2023.
In this 38th event, TEI 2023 is expected to increase the diversification of non-oil and gas exports as well expanding export markets to non-traditional countries, which is one of the strategies for increasing non-oil and gas exports amidst the challenges of the global economic slowdown.
Furthermore, harnessing the opportunities of the digital economy and technologies, through utilization of virtual trade shows, the 38th Trade Expo Indonesia will be present in online format on 18 October – 18 December 2023 to enable seamless international business and cross border trade.
Q- Pakistan is a big importer of Palm Oil from Indonesia – What is the present status of this trade?
A- Pakistan is one of Indonesia’s partners as the third largest importer of CPO, with a value reaching USD 3.1 billion in 2022, which grew by 12 percent from the previous year. This is reinforced by the partnership established under the Indonesia-Pakistan Trade in Goods Agreement (IP-TIGA) several years ago. We expect the trade between two countries to continue to grow due to the increasingly open access to both markets. The total bilateral trade of Indonesia and Pakistan in 2022 amounting to USD 4,95 billion or grew by 18 percent.
Q- Indonesia and Pakistan can move further to joint ventures in the Palm Oil sector? Your material and our Factories transforming it into edible oil can do something together?
A- Of course, cooperation between the Indonesian and Pakistan palm oil industries in developing the palm oil sector is possible, including by building palm oil terminals at ports, storage facilities and refineries. With this investment and cooperation, it is believed that Pakistan can become a hub for Indonesian palm oil to the South and Central Asian markets.
Q- Medicines are costly in Indonesia – Pakistan has a strong pharma industry – Do you see an increase of cooperation in this sector including joint ventures?
A- One of our pharmaceutical exporters, PT Kalbe Farma Tbk has established a joint venture company in the Philippines, under the name Kalbe Ecossential International Inc., to strengthen the non-prescription medicine market.This does not rule out the possibility of opening joint venture opportunities with companies in Pakistan.
Q- What are the other areas in Trade and Industry that can be explored by both countries to tap the maximum potential of mutual benefit?
A- We do hope to cooperate in the near future in developing halal products and modest fashion as global market products.

38th Trade Expo Indonesia 18-22 Oct Kick Starts in Jakarta with Overwhelming Worldwide Participation

Q- Pakistan Indonesia enjoys cordial brotherly relations politically – How do you see the volume of bilateral trade? Certainly, it is not according to the level of political ties – How can both countries improve it?
A- Indonesia and Pakistan have had diplomatic relations for 72 years. Cooperation between the two countries has focused on strengthening political and security relations as well as increasing economic diplomacy. Pakistan is a top 5 partner to Indonesia’s export with palm oil as the main commodity.
In the 2016–2017 IPPTA review, the two countries agreed to expand the scope of IP-PTA, which only covers a number of tariff posts, to IP-TIGA, which will cover all tariff posts for trade in goods. Providing wider market access in IP-TIGA is expected to further increase bilateral trade, especially by encouraging increased exports of potential Indonesian products to Pakistan.
Q- Pakistan is a major exporter of Sports goods and wear as well as surgical instruments. What is the status of bilateral trade in these sectors?
A-Pakistan exports sports products to some of the most popular international brands including Nike, Adidas, Puma, Umbro, Lotto, Wilson, Miter, Micassa, Diadora, and Decathlon.
• Since, Indonesian is a sport enthusiast, therefore we hope Pakistan continues to develop Research and Development as well as skillful labor to become of the leading players in global sports merchandise.
Q- Indonesian culture and Batik tradition have been promoted by the Embassy of Indonesia in Pakistan. We have a big Textile industry in Faisalabad. What can both countries do together in Cotton and Textile areas?
A- Collaboration in the cotton and textile sectors can leverage the strengths of both countries, with Indonesia’s expertise in traditional textiles and Pakistan’s strong presence in the modern textile industry. By working together, they can enhance the competitiveness and sustainability of their textile sectors on a global scale.
Q- Pakistan and Indonesia participate in defense exercises – Both countries have strong Naval forces – Pakistan has a large sector in Defense Production as well. What are the prospects in your view to increase cooperation here?
A- Indonesia is committed to being open in its external relations with all countries. This collaboration involves carrying out defense reform and increasing defense strength by developing the main domestic defense system, especially with Pakistan, which has developed and produced the JF-17 Thunder fighter jet, so that in the future it can strengthen Indonesia’s air defense.

38th Trade Expo Indonesia – Pakistani Businessmen Hold Discussions with Potential Partners – Mindful to Shape Up Cooperation & Partnerships in Various Sectors

Q- Students from both sides are studying in both countries – Indonesia gives scholarships to Pakistani students – How do you see this cooperation and what more can be done in this field?
A- Education is a fundamental and a critical pathway to ending extreme poverty. Equitable, quality education has an immense power to transform the lives of individuals, families, communities, and nations.
The scholarship given from both countries give students the opportunity to live, work and study in respective countries. Their experiences have long-term economic and cultural benefits for both visitor economy.
 The cooperation between the vocational school and industry is pivotal and crucial turning point to both the school as it enables the school to produce quality output based on the industry needs, while enabling the industry also to get skilled and competent workforce.
This year, we invite vocational school to participate in Trade Expo Indonesia and JMFW to showcase their innovative products. Therefore, TEI acts as a bridge to fulfil the information asymmetry between the industrial world and vocational school as a producer of human resources to meet industrial needs.
Q- Anything you want to convey to Pakistan or anything more about the trade expo / what Indonesia can offer?
A- Trade Expo Indonesia is the largest B2B Platform in Indonesia that presents 7 product sectors. TEI Provides a platform for networking, collaboration, and exploring new opportunities for growth. TEI 2023 presents the finest Indonesia export products for the global market.
Along with the Exhibition, Trade Expo Indonesia Hybrid Edition also presents a series of parallel activities consisting of International Seminars, Business Matching, Business Counselling, Signing Mou, Primaniyarta and Primaduta Award, One-on-one packing and logo design consultations, and Jakarta Muslim Fashion Week (JMFW).
Pakistan is the largest Muslim Country in the world as of 2023, with over 240 Million. We see several potential export products such as halal products and modest fashion. In an effort to make Indonesia a global halal hub, one of us initiated the Jakarta Muslim Fashion Week (JMFW) which was held back-to-back with the 38th TEI held on 19 – 21 October 2023 at ICE BSD which involved not only associations, the Muslim fashion industry and academia, but also embrace small and medium enterprises.


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