NITN | @notintownlive | 12 Jun 2018
Kolkata, Jun 12(NITN): As trading partners, India and Indonesia must engage in more exchange of ideas and investments as well as establish effective links between the two countries, said Indonesia's Ambassador to India, Sidharto Reza Suryodipuro, recently in Kolkata.
He was speaking at an interactive session organised by the Kolkata-based Bengal Chamber of Commerce and Industries.
India and Indonesia share a long history of maritime trade links. Today, the Republic of Indonesia is India’s second largest trading partner among the ASEAN (Association of Southeast Asian Nations) countries.
The two sides havee also signed 15 agreements for cooperation in various areas including defence, trade and economy, according to the organisers.
Dev. A Mukherjee, Vice President, The Bengal Chamber, said, “Culturally Indonesia and India go back 1000 years. In the post colonial era, both the country share common goals. And independent foreign policy, economic strength apart from deep cultural heritage are common points shared between the two countries."
"Following the Indian Prime Minister’s visit to Indonesia last month, we are looking at a strong defence and economic co operation between the two countries," said Mukherjee.
"These could contribute towards building better bridges. Our import from Indonesia far exceeds our exports to Indonesia. We need to find out how to increase investment coming from Indonesia to India. The Bengal Chamber has been engaging in substantive consultative assignment towards India and Indonesia trade development. One area where Bengal Chamber could give substantial inputs is Maritime Cooperation and Logistics," he said.
Mahesh Saharia, Honorary Consul of Indonesia to Kolkata said, “Indonesia is a unique country. It is an archipelago of 7000 islands. We are 60-70 nautical kilometres from Andaman & Nicobar island. Our social, economic, cultural connections are from two millennia. There has been 28 per cent growth rate in tourism from India to Indonesia. Next year we hope it reaches 40 peer cent.”
Ambassador Sidharto Reza Suryodipuro said that there is a need to increase air connectivity.
"There should be more flights and direct flights," he said.
He said, "Imports from India include red meat, pharma products, dairy, rice and sugar."
Highlighting the relation between the two countries, the Ambassador said, "We hold similar regional and international outlook. We don't see each other as threats.Our challenges are primarily to push for greater connectivity and also maritime connectivity. Through joint development of port , will be a symbol of maritime connectivity and link. Cruise shipping has been under discussion . Above all, the two trading partners should engage in investments, exchange of ideas and resources, and establish government to government links, people to people links."
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