FAISALABAD. Indonesia will encourage production of palm oil and its processing in addition to the production of high value products from this edible oil as joint ventures in Pakistan, said Mr. Wisnu Suryo Hutomo Minister Counselor of the Indonesian Embassy in Islamabad.
During a meeting with Acting President Faisalabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (FCCI) Farooq Yusuf in his office here Hutomo told that there are vast opportunities of exploiting untapped trade potential between the two brotherly countries. “Pakistan is exporting rice while there is huge demand of Pakistani Kinno and Mango in Indonesia”, he told, adding that Indonesia is also exporting Palm Oil to Pakistan. However; efforts are being made to encourage production of Palm Oil within Pakistan in collaboration with Indonesian businessmen.
He told that he has visited University of Agriculture (UAF) so that high yielding varieties of Indonesian Palm could be cultivation in local environment of Pakistan. He said that a proposal was also under consideration to setup a refinery to process crude oil in order to produce food grade palm oil. He said that this will initiate a process for the production of a long chain of high value products including biscuits, chocolates, soap and cosmetics etc. He told that he has been trying to promote consensus on these projects between the investors of two countries as it may ensure balance bilateral trade between the two countries.
Regarding China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Hutomo said that 288 different projects are being implemented with huge investment of 63 billion dollars. “This major infrastructure will not only benefit Pakistan but also ensure enhanced connectivity between the regional countries”, he said and told that proposed Palm Oil refinery will not only cater to the domestic needs of Pakistan but its products could also be exported to others countries.
He further told that a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) has already been signed between the two countries while Pakistani business community should contact its commerce ministry to finalize the draft of the proposed Free Trade Agreement.
Hutomo told that 33rd Trade Expo will be organized from October 24 to 28, 2018 in Indonesia. He told that 11000 exhibitors and 28,000 visitors are expected to visit this mega event. He said that the exporters of knitted kids’ wear should also participate in this event as Indonesia is a major consumer market of kids’ cloth. He told that he will visit Faisalabad next month along with Indonesia ambassador to formally invite business community of Faisalabad to participate in this trade expo. He further told that Indonesia will provide free visa for 30 days to the participants from 174 countries for this trade expo. He said that it’s a big opportunity to make exports to Indonesia and hence, exporters of Faisalabad should also avail from tit.
Earlier Farooq Yusuf Acting President FCCI said that trade balance is in favor of Indonesia and the proposed palm oil production and refinery will help in balancing trade between the two countries. He said that Indonesian investor could also invest in hydro projects and alternative energy resources while joint ventures could also be initiated in textiles, agro based industry, livestock, fruit processing, Halal meat, leather goods, oil and gas, information technology, tourism, organic as well as inorganic agro-based products and food items.