Bagus Wicaksena, director, Indonesia Trade Promotion Centre (ITPC), has disclosed that the non-development of Nigeria’s non-oil sector was the reason for the low volume of trade between Indonesia and Nigeria.
Wicaksena said while Nigeria’s non-oil exports to Indonesia had risen by 300 per cent since the introduction of new policies on ease of doing business in the country, crude oil still remains the major exported product to Indonesia.
An Indonesian-African forum that will focus on “sustainable trade and investment cooperation” is planned to hold in Bali from April 7 to 14. Trade volume between Nigeria and Indonesia stood at $2.5b in 2016/2017, Wicaksena said, adding that Indonesia is $800 million in trade deficit with Nigeria.
“The trade volume represents the second largest, behind South Africa, the Indonesian government traded with in the continent as total volume of trade between Indonesia and Africa stood at $7.6 billion in 2016/2017, as Africa has great business and investment opportunities that remain untapped”, he asserted.
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He said the inaugural edition of the forum is an Indonesian government initiative aimed at promoting and strengthening trade and investment relationship between Indonesia and sub-Sahara Africa.
He affirmed that Africa is a potential market for Indonesian consumer goods such as palm oil, garments, technical cooperation, motorized vehicles which are among several products that could be in demand in sub-Saharan African markets.
“The forum will generate new ideas aimed at strengthening bilateral trade with Nigeria. We have experienced a promising trade relationship with Nigeria as it has grown by 10 per cent. West African countries are strategic partners in terms of trade and we want to forge stronger bilateral relationships with countries in the continent,” he said.
Ishmael Balogun, managing director, Goldmine Global Services Limited, organisers of the event, said the forum is geared towards exploring various economic opportunities, to strengthen technical cooperation and enhance existing partnership between both countries.
He said: “The forum intends to provide a unique opportunity for around 550 people from the Indonesia business community, high level government officials and other stakeholders to gather, interact and explore ways to establish concrete economic cooperation and expand business networks.
“We believe the forum would provide a platform for Nigerian and other African businesses to showcase what they have to offer to the Indonesian business community thereby improving the probabilities of attracting inward cooperation and investments in terms of foreign direct investments from Indonesia,” he added.
Harry Purwanto, Indonesia’s ambassador to Nigeria, said last year that the volume of trade between the two countries fell from $4 billion in 2014 to $2billion in 2016 due to the low price of crude which he said is the largest export produce from Nigeria to Indonesia.