Indonesia Pakistan affections should be seen in increasing their economic relations says Indonesian Consul General
While addressing the members of Karachi Council on Foreign Relations (KCFR) the Indonesian Consul General, Dr. June Kuncoro Hadiningrat said that Pakistan and Indonesia are like two sibling countries who have always taken each other for granted in supporting each other in all fields and their affections for each other are strong.
He said that Indonesians hold Pakistani’s in high esteem and know them as tough, hardworking and Indonesians look forward to Pakistanis as their role models in working hard.
This was especially true amongst the business class of Indonesians.
He said that the Indonesian affection for Pakistan superseded the political sphere, spilling into the economic and People to People spheres.
He said that he had conducted over 169 meetings, interactions and consultations in 2022 alone in order to further develop and strengthen Indonesian-Pakistani Economic relations. Indonesia Pakistan affections should be seen in increasing their economic relations. He added that people of both countries liked each other , with many Indonesians and Pakistanis marriages taking place. He said that in 2022 Pakistan was the biggest recipient of Indonesian scholarships with 29 Pakistani students studying in Indonesia while 300 Indonesian students studied in Pakistan. He added that Indonesia had signed 9 MoUs with Pakistani universities.
He said that Indonesia’s growth in GDP during the Covid era was 5.4% indicating the strength of the Indonesian economy and he encouraged Pakistani businesses to expand into Indonesia. Mr. Abdul Kader Jaffer, a member of Board of Governors of KCFR, offered two educational scholarships to the Consul General for Indonesian students who accepted it warmly. To a question he responded that the document approving the upgrade of PGA to FTA between Pakistan and Indonesia was being processed within the Ministry of Trade in Pakistan. During a visit to the Chamber of Commerce a member had asked that Pakistan could export products such as dates or rice to Indonesia.
To another question he replied that the trade gap between Pakistan and Indonesia appeared large and unfavorable to Pakistan due to Pakistan’s imports of coal and oil from Indonesia.
With recent price hikes in the global fuel supply chain the price of coal and oil had increased and inflated the trade gap. Without these two products the trade gap between Pakistan and Indonesia was much smaller. He added that he will inform the Indonesian Minister of Trade that Pakistan was interested in exporting surgical goods and fruits to Indonesia.
He agreed that trade between both countries should increase but the lack of sufficient trade commissions between them hindered progress towards that goal.
He added that attempts were being made to allow businessmen to move around freely between and within Pakistan and Indonesia. To another question he replied that Climate Change did not have a big impact on Indonesia because Indonesia was well equipped to deal with disaster emergencies on account of its long experience with tsunamis.
He noted that Indonesia was not part of the conflict between USA and China, and that as the biggest nation in its region it had a responsibility to act as a responsible bigger brother who promotes peace and prosperity within the region.
The Chairman of KCFR Vice Admiral (R) Khalid Mir concluded the meeting by saying that Pakistan Indonesian relations go to the 1940s where they helped each other for their independence.
He added that the security concerns of the modern era had shaken the global economy and new alliances were emerging. Increasingly, nations were choosing not to align with either global factions and instead increase their relations with the local reginal nations.
He said that the emphasis had shifted from bilateral relations with superpowers to multilateral relations between neighboring countries.
He concluded by saying that the key word in this modern era was connectivity and nations sought to have as many connections as possible, instead of limiting themselves to a few global powers.