Tue, 04 Oct 2011

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Canada and Indonesia are to strengthen their economic development relations by establishing a trade and investment partnership, a visiting Canadian minister said.

"One of the strategies to do that is by forging new and deeper trade relationships around the world, and I will meet with some Indonesian ministers this afternoon to explore new areas where Indonesia and Canada will not only trade with each other but also invest in each other`s economy," Canadian Minister of International Trade Ed Fast said here Monday.

Fast said that both countries were in negotiations on the conclusion of a Foreign Investment Protection Agreement (FIPA).

"The agreement is actually a set of clear rules for investors from both countries who want to invest in the other country and also a set of rules on settlement of disputes," said Fast who also serves as Canadian Minister for the Asia-Pacific Gateway.

Besides, Canada which has high technology on oil and gas processing was offering to deepen its partnership with Indonesia in sharing expertise in the oil and gas industry.

"Indonesian and Canadian academies can work together as their countries have very massive oil and gas sectors," added Minister Fast.

He said the Canadian government, like the Indonesian government, was focusing on the achievement of economic prosperity.

"The Indonesian government is not different from the Canadian. It wants to build a stronger economy so that more and more Indonesians can enjoy the fruits of their labor and enjoy a descent life," he added.

Fast who is visiting Indonesia from October 2 until October 3 said that Canadian companies which had invested in Indonesia should spread the message to Indonesians that Canada was willing to be partner in the economic sector.

Minister Fast said Indonesia and Canada had been in a strong trading partnership since 1952 which included business and investment.

"I had the pleasure of meeting Indonesia`s Minister of Trade, Mari Elka Pangestu yesterday and we agreed to make joint preparations for trade and investment between Canada and ASEAN," said Fast adding that it was the first commercial arrangement ever adopted between Canada and ASEAN.

He said Indonesia had favorable conditions for Canada to invest, adding that trade between Indonesia and Canada in 2010 reached a total value 2.3 billion dollars.

"When I go back, I can promise you, I am going to tell people in Canada that Indonesia is an amazing place to invest. It`s multicultural and very much like Canada," he said .

Indonesia`s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in 2010 was 725.8 billion Canadian dollars while Canada`s GDP was 1.624,6 billion Canadian dollars. Canada GDP growth rate in 2010 was 3.2 percent and Indonesia`s 6.1 percent.

Canadian exports to Indonesia in 2010 rose by 9.4 percent to 1.1 million Canadian dollars while Canada`s imports from Indonesia also rose 25.2 percent to 1. 3 million Canadian dollars.(*)