Pitching for greater cooperation between India and Indonesia, Vice President Md. Hamid Ansari opined while both countries share excellent relations, their bilateral trade and investments have not realised its full potential. Addressing the India-Indonesia Business Forum in Jakarta, VP Hamid Ansari also said that there is a scope for strengthening further the bilateral trade between India and Indonesia.
“India and Indonesia share cordial political relations, the bilateral trade and investments have not realised its full potential,” the Vice President said while addressing the gathering at Jakarta on Tuesday.
“India exports refined petroleum products, maize, commercial vehicles, telecommunication equipment, oil seeds to Indonesia. There is a need to balance our bilateral trade as India’s import from Indonesia was USD 15 billion against an export of USD 4 billion in 2014-15,” he added.
Vice President of Indonesia Jusuf Kalla and a large number of business people from India and Indonesia were present at the event.
Stating that he found a strong desire in Indonesian leadership to expand commercial engagement with India, VP Ansari said ties between India and Indonesia remain vibrant and economic and commercial cooperation occupies prominent position in the bilateral discussions.
The Vice President also strongly emphasised on the flagship programme of ‘Make in India’ for the ease of doing businesses through simplification of existing rules and regulations.
“Infrastructure development and energy security are key areas for cooperation for emerging economies like India and Indonesia,” he said adding that India’s ‘Act East Policy’, as articulated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi, is aimed at rapidly scaling up our cooperation with ASEAN member countries in crucial areas.
“I urge the Indonesian companies to explore these opportunities of investing in infrastructure and manufacturing sector in India particularly in downstream manufacturing sectors like coal, palm oil and rubber which are exported to India in large volumes,” he said.
The Vice President also met members of the Muslim civil society in Indonesia.
Meanwhile, VP Ansari’s departure from Indonesia to Brunei has been delayed by a day after spewing of ash from a rumbling volcano forced the shutting down of the Indonesian airport. The special flight by which the Vice President was to leave for Brunei at 1:45 pm (Bali local time) was cancelled.
Bali authorities will now be holding a meeting in the evening to assess the situation, after which the future plans will be prepared, an official claimed adding that the Vice President’s visit to Brunei “stands” as of now.
(With inputs from the PTI)