PESHAWAR:

This is the right time to increase bilateral trade between Pakistan and Indonesia to a new peak, remarked Indonesian Ambassador to Pakistan Adam M Tugio.

In a meeting with Sarhad Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) on Wednesday, the envoy emphasised the need to expand mutual trade with Indonesia – beyond palm oil imports.

He stressed the need to tap the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) market, saying “we must think beyond palm oil imports to focus on other potential sectors and enter the Asean market”.

The ambassador was of the view that there was a huge potential to boost bilateral trade and economic relations.

“We should also enhance mutual cooperation and trade in textile, medicines, tourism, etc along with palm oil imports,” he stressed.

Talking about the palm oil export ban by Indonesia, Tugio revealed that the restriction was on a temporary basis.

Elaborating, he said that palm oil prices were suddenly raised, causing its unavailability in the domestic market, thus creating difficulties for the locals to buy oil at cheap/ subsidised rates.

“The ban will be lifted very soon and Indonesia will resume palm oil exports across the world,” he mentioned.

Tugio informed the meeting that Indonesia was planning to launch a special capacity building programme to uplift tourism in Pakistan. An ‘Indonesia Corner’ would be established at the University of Peshawar, he said.

Online classes were being conducted between different universities of Pakistan and Indonesia that had played a significant role in enhancing cooperation in the education sector as well, he added.

“Besides, the Embassy of Indonesia in collaboration with the Directorate of Archaeology and Museums (Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa) will jointly work for the promotion of religious tourism in the province,” he revealed.

On the occasion, SCCI President Hasnain Khurshid Ahmad called for simplifying the visa issuance process in order to ease the difficulties of the business community besides strengthening mutual trade and economic relations between the two countries.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 12th, 2022.

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