Wed, 28 Sep 2011

From: The Jakarta Globe

By From: The Jakarta Globe
By:Shirley Christie

Taiwanese companies plan to buy more natural resources, especially coal and natural gas, from Indonesia, a deputy minister from the north Asian nation said during a trade mission to Jakarta.

“Indonesia is one of Taiwan’s most important supply sources of oil, gas and coal,” said Sheng-Chung Lin, the deputy minister of economic affairs. “We want to increase our purchases of coal.”

Taiwan is the fifth-biggest buyer of Indonesian coal, after China, Japan, South Korea and India.

Lin said Taiwan had not discussed the volume or value of coal it would purchase from Indonesia. State-owned utility Taiwan Power Company purchased $1.2 billion in coal from Indonesia last year. Taiwan Power provides electricity to Taiwan and to islands off the coast of China.

Indonesia is Taiwan’s third-biggest overseas investment destination and is its 11th largest trade partner. Taiwan is currently the third-largest buyer of liquefied natural gas from East Kalimantan’s Bontang plant, after Japan and South Korea, said Gde Pradnyana, spokesman for BP Migas, the state regulator that oversees oil and gas production.

Gde told the Jakarta Globe that exports by volume to Taiwan were relatively low.

Indonesia is the world’s second-largest exporter of LNG, after Qatar. Indonesia also sells LNG to China, which does not recognize Taiwan as an independent nation.

Hundreds of Taiwanese delegates arrived in Jakarta on Sunday to explore trade opportunities in Indonesia. “We sent delegations [to Indonesia] to see the newly developed investment environment,” said Lin.

Bilateral trade between Indonesia and Taiwan from January to August climbed 24 percent to $8.3 billion compared to a year earlier, according to data from Taiwan External Trade Development Council.

Indonesian exports to Taiwan reached $5 billion in the first eight months of the year, while Indonesia’s imports from Taiwan reached $3.3 billion.

Meanwhile, Taiwan’s investments in Indonesia reached $14 billion as of March this year, covering as much as 1,357 projects.

Taiwan is currently ranked the 17th biggest exporter and ranked 18th as the biggest importer in the world.

The trade mission is an annual event. A year ago, Economic Affairs Minister Shih Yen-shiang led representatives of 36 Taiwanese companies to Indonesia.