Arisman, second from left, with Al Absi, centre
New council to boost Bahrain-Indonesia trade
Manama, April 26, 2014
A business council could soon be set up between Bahrain and Indonesia to promote trade and investment, a report said.
The joint body will aim to boost ties and support trade between the two nations, which has been valued at around BD53 million ($140 million) in non-oil products, reported the Gulf Daily News (GDN), our sister publication.
Indonesian Ambassador Chilman Arisman told the GDN he hoped the council would be instrumental in negotiating a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between Manama and Jakarta.
"According to the statistics last year, the bilateral trade between the two countries was $116 million," he said. "Bahrain's exports largely constitute aluminium while Indonesia can export household products, stationery, agricultural products and automotive parts to Bahrain."
Arisman said efforts were underway to attract Bahraini businessmen to take part in a Trade Expo that will be held in October.
It follows a visit by a trade delegation to Manama, where they held talks with their Bahraini counterparts on exploring new opportunities.
They were told that Bahrain's exports to Indonesia witnessed a notable increase from $5 million in 2009 to almost $93 million in 2011.
"We are keen to promote trade and investment opportunities and look forward for support from the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry," said the diplomat.
"Hopefully as the first Indonesian resident ambassador to Bahrain, I will be able to inject more substance into this bilateral partnership."
Bahrain officially established diplomatic relations with Indonesia in 1976 and an embassy was built in Juffair in December 2010.
Arisman arrived in Bahrain on October 20, 2012 and submitted his credentials to His Majesty King Hamad on February 19 last year. He said they were now waiting for the opening of the Bahrain Embassy in Jakarta.
"Bahrain is one of our strongest supporters in the Middle East and with the opening of its embassy in Jakarta and appointing for the first time a resident ambassador it will boost ties at different levels," he said.
Indonesia is a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) and the G20 major economies. – TradeArabia News Service