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Indonesia And South Africa Strengthen Economic Ties

Indonesia will continually strive to intensify economic relations with South Africa in 2020, Indonesian Ambassador to South Africa Salman Al Farisi noted. The ambassador remarked in a statement issued by the Indonesian Embassy in Pretoria and received here, Friday.

"The economic condition in South Africa is still quite challenging for us to be able to penetrate the market deeper and bring diverse Indonesian products here. However, in 2019, we got some positive indications, ranging from the commitment of several companies in Indonesia to bring representatives in South Africa, to new investment plans from South African companies to Indonesia," Ambassador Al Farisi stated as quoted by Antara News Agency.

He highlighted that some agreements, such as the Defense Cooperation Agreement and MoU in the Fisheries Sector, had almost reached the final stage.

Since 2015, trade volume between Indonesia and South Africa had shown a fluctuating trend. However, the Indonesian ambassador was not overly concerned about the trade balance in 2018 that showed a surplus for the South African side.

He pointed out that increased purchases of capital goods from South Africa was a good sign of productive activities in Indonesia, chiefly linked to the need for intensive infrastructure development in recent years.

Moreover, he pointed to Indonesia still holding vast potential to boost its exports, such as of automotive products, palm oil, and food and beverage products, to Sub-Saharan African countries.

Nevertheless, tariff barriers are still viewed as hindering trade relations between Indonesia and South Africa.

Indonesian Coordinating Minister for Maritime Affairs and Investment Luhut B. Pandjaitan -- during his working visit to Cape Town on December 18-19, 2019, -- met Minister of Trade and Industry of South Africa, Ebrahim Patel.

During the meeting, Minister Patel welcomed the preliminary discussion on the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between both nations and expected a concrete step to begin with a study by a technical team in the start of this year.

Moreover, Minister Patel indicated several investment potentials by Indonesian businesspersons, especially the relocation of the textile and footwear industry.

The economic condition of South Africa and the surrounding countries, within the accreditation scope of the Indonesian Embassy in Pretoria, have influenced the Indonesian government’s strategy in its efforts to expand the African market for Indonesian products.


(source: Antara News Agency)