The Karachi Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KCCI) President Muhammad Haroon Agar has asked the Ambassador of Indonesia to Pakistan, Burhan Muhammad, to help expedite enforcement/ implementation of Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Pakistan and Indonesia.
Exchanging views during the visit of Indonesian Ambassador to KCCI, he said that signing of PTA on the occasion of 62nd anniversary of Pak-Indonesia Friendship in the month of February 2012 was a crucial initiative to open a new chapter of economic and commercial cooperation.
Agar pointed out that the KCCI believes that the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) will bring closer the business communities of both the countries and will give a strong boost to the bilateral trade ties.
He hoped that after enforcement/ implementation of PTA, negotiations will start for Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
KCCI President anticipated that after implementation of PTA, Pak Indonesia bilateral trade could escalate upto US dollar two billion in coming years from the current figure of around US dollars 800 million. Indonesia would be able to increase its export of crude palm oil (CPO) to Pakistan whereas Pakistan can export to Indonesia its fruits, value added textiles, carpets, fabrics, leather goods, chemicals, surgical items etc.
Agar called for Indonesia-Pakistan joint ventures in crude palm oil and agricultural value- added products. Bilateral trade between Indonesia and Pakistan has grown to $ 1.65 Billion in 2012, up 15% from $1 Billion in 2008. Indonesia exported goods worth $1.38 billion to Pakistan while importing goods worth $273 million. Major increase has been seen in export of cotton/ cotton fabrics and cereals from Pakistan which grew by $ 20 million and $11.53 million respectively while import of palm oil from Indonesia increased by $ 289.87 million.
He urged the Ambassador to expedite negotiations on signing of ‘Mutual Recognition Agreement’ and take measures to remove non-tariff barriers on imports of fruits, rice, including monthly quotas, complex licensing system, and limited entry points for imports.
Indonesia being world’s third largest consumers of rice can import Pakistani basmati rice, Haroon Agar said. He conveyed gratitude to the Indonesian Ambassador and the Consul General for inviting Indonesian exhibitors to participate in the Karachi Chamber’s “My-Karachi, Oasis of Harmony Exhibition” scheduled to be organised in July 2013.
Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, Burhan Muhammad, stated that being Indonesian Ambassador to Pakistan his priorities were to enhance economic cooperation (G2G) between Indonesia and Pakistan, connect the business communities of two countries for B2B and developing Military to Military linkages between two brother Muslim countries.
He highlighted that the Indonesia-Pakistan Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) was a landmark development in the bilateral history of two countries which will not only raise bilateral trade volume but also open doors for Pakistani businessmen to penetrate in the emerging ASEAN market.
With enforcement of PTA the trade volume between the two countries will touch the figure of US dollars two billion in one year. He apprised that there was some delay in the enforcement and a notification was not issued yet; in this connection he will meet Pakistan’s Secretary Commerce shortly and will also visit Jakarta to meet Indonesian Trade Minister, the Ambassador added.
He stated that besides economic and commercial cooperation, Indonesia can also invest in the infrastructural development projects. Pakistan can get benefit of Indonesian expertise in coal sector for its Thar Coal project.
He said that Indonesia and Pakistan have had a remarkable history of fraternal relationship and two countries have enjoyed sound and steady commercial interaction since last several decades.
He hoped that this amiable relationship will continue to grow with the implementation of the PTA.
Consul General of Indonesia in Karachi, Rossalis R. Adenan, President of Pakistan-Indonesia Business Forum and Ex-president KCCI Abdul Majid Haji Muhammad, former president KCCI Majyd Aziz, Senior Vice President KCCI Shamim Firpo, Vice President KCCI Nasir Mehmood and Managing Committee Members of KCCI also participated in the meeting.