Indonesia Envoy for enhanced Pakistan, ASEAN economic ties

Pakistan to obtain Full Dialogue Partner status with ASEAN

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ISLAMABAD, Ambassador of Indonesia to Pakistan, Adam Mulawarman Tugio, on Saturday said that Indonesia fully supports Pakistan to obtain Full Dialogue Partner status with the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), which will provide huge economic opportunities for Pakistan with 623 million of potential trade market of the region.

The Ambassador said that there were two approaches for achieving this goal; first is through an institutional process while the second was that the existing bilateral policy between Pakistan and individual ASEAN member countries need to be addressed through bilateral approach.

On the institutional approach he said, ASEAN and Pakistan have already adopted the action plan, adding that there were 11 areas of importance in which Pakistan and ASEAN countries could work together and one of the areas was trade and investment.

The second, he said is related to using the bilateral approach such as Pakistan can build bilateral relations with Indonesia and with other ASEAN member countries and added that by doing this, Pakistan would be able to be accepted as a full dialogue partner status and it would increase political, commercial and economic links with ASEAN member states.

The Ambassador further stated that Pakistan had vast potential to increase its exports to Indonesia, mainly textile, garments, leather products, surgical instruments, and fruits.

It is pertinent to mention here that the current bilateral trade between Indonesia and Pakistan is around $ 2.6 billion; with balance of trade heavily in favor of Indonesia.

Answering the question related to trade imbalance between both the countries, the Ambassador said the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between the two countries has enhanced Pakistan’s exports to Indonesia while in future, by signing the Free Trade Agreement (FTA), trade on both sides can be further enhanced.

Answering a question on Indonesian investment in China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), the Ambassador said that two Indonesian companies are already investing in the Special Economic Zones (SEZs) of Faisalabad (Allama Iqbal Industrial City) and Thatta, Sindh Dhabeji Special Economic Zone.

He said that CPEC project would emerge as a game-changer for the entire region through connectivity to Central Asia and Western China. Moreover, Indonesia could also provide coal to power projects being established under the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) project and the domestic large-scale real estate and manufacturing sector.

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