Indonesia seeks deeper business ties with Nigeria
by MABEL DIMMA and JOHN SALAU
June 11, 2017 | 2:17 am| | | Start Conversation
On Saturday June 3, 2017, Harry Purwanto, Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia, along with other diplomats and investors from Indonesia gathered at Intercontinental Hotel, Lagos, along with members of the Nigeria Chambers of Commerce to pitch to the Nigeria business community what Indonesia has to offer.
Diplomatic relations between both countries have been impressive: In February 2017, President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia visited Abuja accompanied by 99 businessmen to strengthen trade relations and with former president Goodluck Jonathan. Prior to that time, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua and President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono of Indonesia met in New York in 2013.
The much needed global connect and diplomatic relations event was to foster mutual socio-economic and cultural development between the two countries, which diplomats from Indonesia said share many similarities. Myriads of information from top Indonesian government officers and business leaders namely Indonesian Chamber of Commerce, Ministry of Agriculture, Ministry of Defense, Ministry of Health, Agency of Food and Drug Control, Indonesia EXIM Bank, Garuda Maintenance Facility (aircraft handling), Perum PERURI (banknote/security print), PT. Pertamina (oil and gas), PT. Pindad (military commercial products), PT. INKA (trains and locomotives), PT. Dirgantara (aircrafts), Pharmaceutical companies, Food products, Technology Product Companies among others, were shared with prospective business partners seeking to explore joint venture opportunities in Nigeria.
Also in attendance were Nigerian government Ministries, Departments, Agencies, Parastatals concerned with Agriculture, Defence, Health, Food and Drug Control, Banking/Security Print, Oil and Gas, Military Commercial Products, Trains and Locomotives, Aircrafts, as well as Pharmaceutical companies, Food products companies and Technology Product Companies.
Indonesia recognises Nigeria as its second most important trade partner in Africa after South Africa and has since 1965 made Nigeria its gateway to West and Central Africa when it opened it resident diplomatic mission in Lagos. In 1976, Nigeria reciprocated by opening its mission in Jarkarta.
During her presentation at the forum, Yetunde Oni, acting DG, NAFDAC, explained in details extant NAFDAC regulatory policies and regulations, as it concerns importation of products (food, beverages and drugs) into the country.
She also stressed the ideals of the current administration to patronise products made in Nigeria, which means any company that has a license to bring in goods, should before the elapse of its five year life-span, begin to make plans to set up a factory or base where such products will be produced locally, thereby creating employment and boosting the economy.
Also speaking at the event, Retro LP Marsudi, Indonesia Minster of Foreign Affairs, who officially opened the business forum, said that while cooperation between the two countries has grown from strength to strength, “Our excellent cooperation is yet to be fully reflected in the bilateral economy ties”.
According to her, volume of bilateral trade between the two countries for the past five years show a continuous and significant decline by 19.19 percent, down from $3.18b (2012) to $1.59bn (2016).
Other speakers at the business forum were the president of NACIMMA, as well as, representatives from the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Indonesia EximBank and Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria. In attendance were also businessmen, potential investors from Indonesia.
According to reports, Dufill has established its noodle factory, the largest instant noodles manufacturing plant in Africa, since 1965 in Nigeria; meanwhile, there is hardly a family in Nigeria who do not patronise Indomie instant noodles, produced by Dufill Prima Foods which is an Indonesian brand.
MABEL DIMMA and JOHN SALAU
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