September 7, 2018 (MLN) On Thursday 6th September, Indonesia organized a conference and exhibition for palm oil to expand the volume of Indonesian exports to Pakistan. It expressed its plan to send a trade mission delegations to Pakistan with the aim of bridging its current account deficit.
The decision was rejoiced by many Indonesians, belonging to both private and public sectors, who expressed keen interest in showcasing their expertise and investing in the palm oil industry of Pakistan.
The idea was prompted to help Indonesia stabilize its market as recently its rupiah currency fell to its lowest level since the Asian financial crisis 20 years ago. It is being traded for 14,930 against the US dollar.
‘Pakistan fulfills its palm oil needs as much as 80 percent from Indonesia and only 20 percent from Malaysia’, the Indonesian Palm Oil Producers Association (GAPKI) deputy chairman Togar Sitanggang was reported saying.
As mentioned earlier, the sole purpose of this event was to help Indonesian market improve its current account deficit. While addressing the media, Indonesian Ambassador to Pakistan Mr. Iwan Suyudhie Amri stressed the necessity for deepening bilateral relationship as Indonesia had been looking to enhance industrial operations in the palm oil sector of Pakistan.
Furthermore, he added that Pakistan offered a logistics route for Indonesian investors who could not only tap the local market, but also capitalize on the export potential of Pakistan by using the economic corridor.
“There is a potential for establishing refineries and storages in Pakistan for export to other countries,” he said.
Sindh Board of Investment (SBI) Chairperson Naheed Memon said Pakistan provided a huge opportunity for investment by the Indonesians in the palm oil industry with their technology as Sindh and Baluchistan jointly had more than 1,000 kilometers of coastal belt for growing palm trees.
She believed a fully integrated palm oil industry in Pakistan could be developed with Indonesia’s technological expertise. Malaysia had already started working on a small scale with the Coastal Development Authority, but it should be undertaken on a commercial basis for heavy production, which could be viable, she added.
Meanwhile, Amri disclosed that Pakistan and Indonesia would be signing a free trade agreement (FTA) in October this year, which had been decided last year. The two countries already have a preferential trade agreement (PTA).
Indonesian ambassador to Pakistan, Iwan Suyudhie Amri; Council of Palm Oil Producing Countries (CPOPC) chair; GAPKI general chairperson, Joko Supriyono; and the Indonesian Oil Palm Estate Fund (BPDP-KS) president director, Dono Boestami, were present as speakers at the meeting, in addition to a number of businessmen from Pakistan, including Edible Oil Refinery Association chairman Abdul Rasheed Janmohammad and Pakistan Vanaspati Manufacturer Association (PVMA) chairman Abdul Waheed.
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