Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and Mozambique plan to increase cooperation in trade and investment, and in the process help each other expand economic ties in the regions they each belong to.
"We wish to make Mozambique an access gate to tap the trade and investment potentials of South Africa," Indonesian Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu said after signing a Memorandum of Understanding on Trade Promotion Cooperation and Joint Statement with Mozambique`s Industry and Trade Minister Antonio Fernando here Wednesday.
Conversely, Mozambique would use Indonesia as an access gate to trade and investment opportunities in Southeast Asia, she said.
Mari said one of the cooperation projects to be carried out with Mozambique was cooperation in processing industries.
"We will explore the concept of forward processing cooperation between the two countries in which Indonesia will import raw materials from Mozambique to make products for export to that country," she said.
At the initial stage, Mari said, the project would be implemented in the field of textiles and textile products.
Mari said the two countries would also cooperate in banking to smooth transactions and investment by businessmen from the two countries, especially to minimize risks in direct or non-L/C payments.
"The cooperation has to be followed up by the two countries` business players. So, later, there should be a clear action plan," she said.
Total trade between the two countries in 2009 reached US$39.5 million but this did not as yet reflect the two countries` potentials, she said.
Therefore, she said, efforts needed to be made to increase trade by eliminating barries through the establishment of trade cooperation and transport support facilities.
Indonesia`s exports to Mozambique now consist of mainly of palmoil and soap and its imports from the South African country of cotton, peanuts and tobacco.
Mari said trade with Mozambique in the past ten years grew at an annual average of eight percent and this year the growth was expected to reach six percent.
"Mozambique also plans to build a mega-infrastructure project and therefore Indonesia has an opportunity to access that country through construction services and building materials trade," she said.
Mozambique whose capital is Maputo has a population of 21.7 million and three international seaports, namely in Maputo, Beira and Nacala.