Thu, 17 Jun 2010
Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and the European Union will increase communication between their businessmen to boost exports and investment to and from the two parties in five priority sectors.

"We wish to identify opportunities available to increase exports and attract investment," Indonesian trade minister Mari Elka Pangestu said at the launching of European Union-Indonesia Business Dialogue (EIBD) Forum here on Wednesday.

The forum to be staged in November 2010 is expected to be able to give inputs to the governments of the two parties to overcome problems hindering economic relations.

The forum has been held once before and in connection with it this time the two parties have formed nine working groups, five of them to focus on priority sectors and four others on inter-sectoral affairs.

The five sectors to be discussed are medical and pharmaceutical sectors, textiles, garment and footwear sectors.

Working groups have also been set up for automotive and machinery sectors, infrastructure and food and beverage sectors.

The inter-sectoral teams meanwhile will discuss physical infrastructure, services, law and regulation as well as urgent issues concerned with growth and trade facilities.

On the occasion the head of the EU delegation for Indonesia and Brunei Darussalam, Julian Wilson, said that the forum was very important with regard to hearing voices from Indonesian businessmen wishing to expand their business to Europe or vice versa.

Trade between the two parties have grown stable so far at around US$25 billion a year. Indonesia has so far always enjoyed a surplus with its exports to the region surpassing US$13 billion in value a year.

"We still have a big opportunity to increase our trade," he said.

The head of the Indonesian-French Chamber of Commerce and Industry (IFCCI), Alain Pierre Mignon, said Indonesia is a potential country for French companies to invest.

So far however French investors have not yet received correct information about the condition in the country.

He said the interest of French businessmen to conduct partnership with Indonesian businessmen is high. In view of that he wished to encourage businessmen from his country to come to the forum so that they would be able to know Indonesia better.

"For the past 80 years we have been successful here. Now however there are more competitors such as from China, Japan and India. May be we need a new business model. That is what we are going to discuss," he said. (*)



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