Fri, 25 Feb 2011

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - Indonesia and France have agreed to step up the growth of their two-way trade to twice its present rate of 5.0 percent per year considering that there were plenty of opportunities to do so.

"The value of bilateral trade with France was only 2.5 billion US dollars in 2010, not a sufficiently substantial growth. We will set a quantitative target after talking with the business sector, at least to boost the growth to 10 percent," said Trade Minister Mari Elka Pangestu on Thursday.

Minister Pangestu made the statement to media after a meeting with French Minister for the Economy, Finance and Industry Christine Lagarde who is on a two-day visit here starting February 24.

Lagarde is accompanied by French Junior Minister of Transportation Thierry Mariani and a 40-member business delegation.

On the visit, Minister Lagarde said that the interaction between government officials and business people of both countries could enhance opportunities for boosting bilateral trade.

French companies dealing in energy, transportation, airlines, construction and public works are ready to explore business opportunities and transfer of technology with Indonesian companies seeking cooperation with the French partners, said Lagarde.

Indonesian Trade Ministry data shows that bilateral trade with France has a tendency of being stagnantly stable with 2.44 billion US dollars in 2011, a slight decline from 2.49 billion US dollars in 2009.

Export to France in 2010 was valued at 1.12 billion US dollars, an increase from 870.2 million US dollars in 2009. Import from the country was 1.32 billion US dollars and 1.62 billion US dollars respectively in 2010 and 2009.

Indonesia registered a deficit of 762.9 million US dollars in trade with France in 2010. The deficit was spurred by declining exports of commodities and items such as natural rubber, paper pulp, footwear and radio and telephone parts.

Indonesia imported from France aircraft parts, heavy equipments, industrial machinery, pipes, military hardware and firearms and munitions. (*)