Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesian Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) M. Wahid Supriyadi said while the trade relations between the two countries in 2008 increased 44 percent to 2.18 billion US dollars, the matter is still no picture of the true potentials of the two nations.
Indonesia, with a population of more than 230 million, and as the biggest economic power in South East Asia and a high consumer confidence, Indonesia is actually a good trade partner for the UAE, the ambassador told 50 Rotary Club members mostly successful businessmen in Dubai.
The Indonesian embassy in Abu Dhabi said Wednesday, Indonesia`s economic growth in the first quarter reached 4.4 percent, the third highest in Asia after China 6.1 percent and India 5.7 percent.
He said this was caused by the high domestic consumption, while Indonesia is not too dependent on its exports which accounted for merely one third of the GDP. He also quoted a survey by Nielsen
Company on the consumer confidence index in Indonesia which is the highest in the world with 104 points followed by Denmark (102) and India (99).
He also said that unlike the neighbors Thailand and Singapore, Indonesia is rather strange to the people of the UAP.
This fact is apparent from the number of UAP tourists coming to Indonesia reaching only several thousands, compared to those visiting Thailand (80,000), Singapore (51,168), and Malaysia (34,994). The low tourist visits was also caused by the relatively small budget for Indonesia`s tourist promotion, he added.
But the envoy believed that Indonesia has more diversified potentials and many leading travel magazines had even called Bali as the most beautiful island in the world.
Speaking of investment, he said, UAP investment in Indonesia had been relatively small, only 22 million US dollars.
According to data at the Indonesian embassy, right now at least eight UAP companies had expressed commitment to invest more than 7 billion US dollars in the tourism sector in Lombok (Emaar), the construction of Asia`s biggest shipbuilding yard (Dubai Drydock World and Fabtech International), development of an epicentral business zone in Kuningan (Limitless), and in the coal sector (RAK Mineral and Metal Investment, RMMI).
He hoped the investment would be realized in a not too distant future.
During a question and answer session, most of the Rotary Club members said they have never come to Indonesia due to the minimum information about the country.
After the briefing by ambassador Wahid, many of them expressed interest in coming to Indonesian for investment and attend the Indonesian Trade Exhibition (TEI) 2009.
One of them, Abdullah H Alawi, owner of Al Nasr Group, expressed his interest in investment in Indonesia`s rubber plantations.
On the occasion, the Indonesian envoy made a presentation entitled "Indonesia the Least Understood Global Player; Its Relations with the UAE." (*)