Trade volume between Qatar and Indonesia increased by 154 percent to $877m in 2018 from $346m in 2017, a Qatar Chamber (QC) official said yesterday.
Qatari exports to Indonesia increased to $728m last year from $214m in 2017, while Qatari imports from Indonesia increased to $148m last year from $131m in 2017, QC First Vice Chairman Mohammed bin Ahmed bin Towar Al Kuwari said during a meeting between the Indonesian trade delegation and their Qatari counterparts in Doha.
Indonesia, which is the largest economy in South East Asia, is one of Qatar’s most important partners in the region, Al Kuwari added. Indonesia’s President, Joko Widodo, recently announced that the country will move the national capital from Jakarta to the island of Borneo. This relocation project also presents massive infrastructure opportunities for investors across the world, including investors from Qatar.
“The local investors are looking for new opportunities and I think this is the right time. Moving the capital to another part of Indonesia will create good opportunities. I think in the coming days, we’ll see more involvement of Qatari investors in Indonesia in banking, oil and gas industry, infrastructure, tourism, and any good business opportunity in all sectors,” Al Kuwari told The Peninsula on the sidelines of the event.
Hendra Turman, Head of the Indonesian delegation and President of Indonesia Qatar Business Council, said that Indonesia plans to triple the trade volume with Qatar to $3bn in the next three years. He added that Indonesia seeks to maintain economic growth above 5 percent by increasing exports, investing in key sectors such as energy, infrastructure, digital economy, and tourism.
“We have 42 different oil and gas projects in Indonesia. And we’re inviting Qatar and upstream businesses in this venture to reach the target of refining one million barrels per day. And Qatar has capabilities in this area. Also, to build a new capital city, we need around 486 trillion rupiah ($34bn). So we’re also inviting the Qatari counterparts to participate in building our new capital city,” added Turman.
Halal products are one of the main investment opportunities between Qatar and Indonesia, which has the world’s largest Muslim population, said Deva Rachman, Secretary-General at Indonesia Qatar Business Council. “The halal industry, especially the Islamic fintech is very big. Indonesia’s shariah economy has the potential to develop at around 300 trillion rupiah. That’s why it’s very good if Qatar can have a cooperation with us to provide the Islamic fund,” she added.
During the event, Al Kuwari assured the Chamber’s support in forging new partnerships between Qatari and Indonesian companies in all sectors, noting that Indonesia is a safe and attractive destination for investment.
To date, there are 14 Indonesian companies operating in Qatar with 100 percent capital in various fields including contracting, engineering, construction, and IT. There are also various Qatari investments in Indonesia, primarily in the communication and banking sectors.
Turman also invited the QC and Qatari businessmen to participate in a number of Indonesian trade events, including the Trade Expo International in Jakarta on October 24, Business Exhibition in Doha on November 17-19, and in the World Halal Summit in 2020.
The meeting was attended by QC Board Member Dr. Mohamed Gohar Al Mohamed. The Indonesian delegation included representatives from companies specializing in energy, tourism, agriculture, furniture, technology, financial system, retail, health care, and e-commerce.