Wed, 23 Feb 2011

Surabaya, East Java (ANTARA News) - A number of Thai envoys invited private businessmen in East Java for cooperation in agricultural business aimed at strengthening bilateral partnership between the two countries, the Thai Ambassador to Indonesia said here Monday (Feb 21).

"One of the cooperation is in agricultural technology," Thanatip Upatising, the Thai Ambassador to Indonesia, said here Monday (Feb 21) when visiting the East Java Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin).

Thanatip said Indonesia was still facing many problems in food crops whereas in the future several factors should be precedence, namely staple food, energy and water supply.

"Meanwhile, Indonesia has lost about 27.5 billion hectares of productive land to be transferred into industrial businesses," he said.

He predicted that they would help transfer the area to agriculture land if the productive region decreased, so that the government should increase the production of the crops.

"If rice crops reached 800 tons per hectare, ideally it should be increased to 1.000 tons per hectare," he said.

Due to the weak system and management of food crops in Indonesia, he said the condition was caused by imbalanced agricultural production.

"The potency is quite big to be developed, actually," he said.

Therefore, he added, Indonesia could learn agricultural technology from Thailand which would also learn from Indonesia for new innovations since Indonesia is the most populated country in ASEAN.

"Moreover, economic growth is going fast so it can attract other countries like my country to strengthen trade partnership," he said.

He said Indonesia and Thailand had been building a partnership in the last 60 years, especially in trade. He hoped the corporation could be increased although the rice was still under the control of the State Logistic Agency (Bulog).

"Furthermore, both can support each other if one of us lacked food," he said

He added that in 2009 the trade relations between the two countries reached 7.5 billion US dollars, and from January to September 2010 it was raised 10 billion US dollars.