Irish businesses are keen to invest in the country by setting up joint ventures with Indonesian counterparts to eventually bolster trade between the two nations, Ireland's Ambassador to Indonesia H.E Richard O'Brien said on Tuesday.
For that purpose, a group of Irish companies and foreign trade executives have arrived in town to meet delegates from Indonesian business, political and academic circles to discuss trade and joint venture prospects.
"Indonesia is very promising and has a lot to offer," O'Brien said of the reasoning behind the delegation's visit to Indonesia.
The meetings will involve presentations from experts and entrepreneurs to develop a business agenda between Indonesia and Ireland in various sectors -- in particular telecommunications, energy, transportation and pharmaceutical sectors.
Several meetings have already been held.
Currently, Indonesia and Ireland's trade volume remain fairly small, amounting to around 200 million euros, with "120 million euros accounted for by Indonesia's commodity and textile exports to Ireland."
Micheal Smith, the embassy's secretary for Asia Pacific ICT and energy policy, said Ireland expects to double that amount in three to five years.
Included among the business delegation are food ingredients giant Kerry Group, telecommunications company Tango Telecom and the maritime management company Dublin Port.
On Monday evening, the delegation met with representatives of consumer goods giant PT Unilever Indonesia, shipping company PT Berlian Laju Tanker, and state pharmaceutical company PT Kimia Farma.
No details emerged as yet from the meeting.
Some Irish companies have already established economic relations with Indonesia. For example, Tango Telecom partnered with PT Lintas Teknologi Indonesia to enhance Bakrie Telecom's text messages services.
Dublin Port is in a joint venture with Sabang Area Development Institution (BPKS) to pave the way to build an international container port in Sabang, Aceh.
"We are currently waiting for the approvals from the Aceh government and the Dublin Port's board," Dublin Port's Head of Research for Development and International Sections Ken Whelan said.
According to Whelan, the joint venture will cost the company an initial investment of around US$5 million.
"If the port is to be in full operation by next year, it will give us a turnover revenue of around $40 million and a profit margin of $15 million, five or six years down the line."
Ireland's economy, which for the past five years has received a considerable boost from its technology and telecommunications business sector, is currently being hit by the global economic crisis which is affecting its banks, housing sector and exports.
"We have a very open economy, and a close relationships to the U.S., which makes us not immune to the crisis," Smith said. (dis)