Tue, 02 Mar 2010

From: The Jakarta Post

By Nani Afrida, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta
Indonesian and Vietnamese businessmen have pledged to help each other in promoting trade and investment opportunities in the two countries, both members of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

The commitment is set out in an MoU signed by the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) and its Vietnamese counterpart in Jakarta on Monday.

Kadin s acting chairman Adi Putra Taher said that under the MoU, Kadin and the Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce and Industry (VCCI) agreed to share information about business opportunities and about regulatory barriers that could hamper trade and investment between the two countries.

The businessmen of the countries have been engaged in a number of business partnerships in agriculture, trade, tourism, coal mining and fisheries. But the level of cooperation remains low due to a number of problems especially those related to trade and investment regulations.

“By sharing information businessmen from Vietnam and Indonesia could effectively identify bottlenecks hampering their investment and trade,” he said.

Meanwhile VCCI chairman Vu Tien Loc said that with the signing of the MoU, the two chambers of commerce would also cooperate to accelerate the implementation of existing business plans. “ At present, we have a number of cooperation agreements in such sectors as coal, agriculture, tourism and fisheries. But they are being implemented very slowly,” he said.

Adi said the cooperation would help Indonesia increase its investment in Vietnam which is expected to increase the two countries’ bilateral trade. The two-way trade between the two countries reached a total of US$1.9 billion during the period between January and November, a slight decline from $2.4 billion in 2008.

Kadin`s committee chairman for Cambodia, Laos, Myanmar and Vietnam, Juan Gondokusumo, said many Indonesian businessmen were interested in doing business in Vietnam. “For instance, some businessmen are interested in developing a limestone mine in Vietnam,” he said.

According to Juan, Vietnam has also asked for fishing permits in Indonesia to avoid illegal fishing.
Currently Indonesia exports chemical products, spare parts and steel to Vietnam, while Indonesia imports rubber and agricultural products from Vietnam.

Earlier on in the day, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono received a courtesy call from the Vietnamese delegation including Nguyen Phu Trong, chairman of the National Assembly of Vietnam and Vietnam Ambassador to Indonesia Nguyen Quoc Trieu, along with 70 business delegates.

Presidential spokesman Dino Patti Djalal told reporters the two countries would increase cooperation in direct investment, energy security, tourism, fisheries and maritime activities. ”We expect to increase trade between Indonesia and Vietnam up from the $2.4 billion in 2008,” he said after the meeting.