Indonesian and Qatari businesspeople are seeking to step up cooperation in the future to tap into the enormous business opportunities available in both countries.
On Wednesday, the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) and Qatar Chamber signed a memorandum of understanding to establish a joint business council.
Mohamad Bawazeer, the vice chairman of Kadin’s permanent committee for the Middle East, said the council was expected to help ease business dealings between the two countries.
A lack of information about the two markets had hindered them from jacking up trade and investment thus far, he added.
"Our private sector needed to approach this market more intensively because of its huge potential," Bawazeer told reporters at the Qatar-Indonesia Economic Forum.
The forum was held against the backdrop of the ongoing crisis between Qatar and its neighbors, Saudi Arabia and United Arab Emirates, over its alleged support for terrorism.
The Gulf country seeks more business opportunities outside the region, such as sourcing food and basic necessities.
The event was also followed by a business matching session that aims to connect Indonesian and Qatari firms to discuss potential business partnerships and trading opportunities.
Indonesia’s exports to Qatar stood at US$188 million last year, much lower than exports from other South East Asian countries like Malaysia and Vietnam, which shipped goods and commodities totaling $353.7 million and $290.1 million respectively, Trademap data shows. (lnd)