JEDDAH: The Jeddah Chamber of Commerce and Industry and its counterpart in Jakarta have decided to establish networking for mutual benefits of businessmen in the two cities. This follows a memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed by JCCI Vice Chairman Mazen Batterjee and Eddy Kuntadi, chairman of the Jakarta Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
“The MoU on economic cooperation was inked in Jakarta on Wednesday,” Djoko Agoeng Rahardjo, consul and head of economic affairs at the Consulate General of Indonesia, told Arab News yesterday. Present at the signing ceremony was Saudi Ambassador to Jakarta Abdurahman Khayat and Indonesian Consul General in Jeddah Gatot Abdullah Mansyur.
Rahardjo said the MoU is driven by the objective of further promoting trade, and technical and economic cooperation between the two countries. “Economic ties between Indonesia and Saudi Arabia have seen a steady growth, especially after the setting up of the Saudi-Indonesian Economic and Technical Joint Committee,” he added. He said a number of bilateral trade developments had taken place during the 2003-07 period. There was a growth of 23.8 percent in 2007, rising to $4.3 billion from $1.9 billion in 2003. During the January-September 2008 period, the bilateral trade reached $4.9 billion, increasing from $4.3 billion in 2007 and $4.1 billion in 2006.
While the trade balance remains in favor of the Kingdom due to its voluminous export of oil, Indonesian exports to the Kingdom include textiles, paper, electrical and electronic products, auto parts, machinery and food and foodstuff, Raharjo said. “With the signing of the MoU, the volume of trade is projected to mark a rapid increase,” he added.
Meanwhile, Indonesia is making preparations for hosting the fifth World Islamic Economic Forum (WIEF) from March 2. The forum will be held at the Ritz-Carlton Pacific Place Hotel in Jakarta. Invitations have been sent to world leaders including US President Barack Obama for the two-day conference, aside from business leaders and multinational company CEOs. A number of issues, particularly the world financial crisis, will be discussed at the conference.