By Fortune Abang
Trade volume between Indonesia and Nigeria reached 2.46 billion dollars between 2016 and 2021, says Amb. Usra Harahap, Ambassador of Indonesia to Nigeria.
Harahap said this on Tuesday in Abuja while fielding questions from newsmen, when he said about 25 Indonesian companies had invested in Nigeria.
He said trade between the two countries kept increasing in the last six years.
“In 2016 it reached 1.59 billion dollars and in 2021 it increased to 2.46 billion dollars.
“Since the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, however, there has been drastic decline from 2.34 billion dollars in 2019 to 1.2 billion in 2020.
“The trade volume increased significantly in 2021 with Indonesia recording deficit trade balance with increasing imports from Nigeria.
“Indonesia’s main exports to Nigeria are clothing, food, paper products, pharmaceuticals, electronics, plastics, soaps, and lubricating oils.
“Meanwhile, Indonesia’s main imports from Nigeria are petroleum products, cotton, cocoa, and hides and shin,’’ the ambassador said.
He commended diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Nigeria, which he said had been built on mutual understanding.
He described Indonesia-Nigeria diplomatic relations as exciting and dynamic, such that it is filled with harmony, mutual understanding and strong desire to gain positive development.
“The diplomatic relations between Indonesia and Nigeria began in 1965 by the opening of the Indonesian Embassy in Lagos, as well as the Nigerian Embassy in Jakarta, which opened in 1976.
“Indonesia is of the view that Nigeria is our strategic partner in Africa, as well as in global arena; the two countries have a strong sense of responsibility to face regional and global challenges.
“It is unavoidable to uphold the priority of cooperation between Indonesia and Nigeria in various fields and mutual support in the international forum.
“The two countries still have to discuss certain issues of cooperation in the field of oil and gas, counter-terrorism, youth and sports, education, culture, fisheries, agriculture and defence cooperation deeper.
“Our Embassy will support Nigeria’s initiative to resume discussions on the Joint Commission between Nigeria and Indonesia, as a forum to address these particular issues.
“The first Joint Commission was held in Jakarta on 2013,’’ he noted.
Harahap also noted that both countries shared a lot in common through the D-8, is an organisation for development cooperation among eight countries.
The Development-8 countries are Bangladesh, Egypt, Indonesia, Iran, Malaysia, Nigeria, Pakistan and Turkey.
The ambassador also told newsmen that both countries would work closely together as D-8 member states to improve their position in global economy and standards of living of their citizens.
This would be based on the principles of peace, dialogue, cooperation, justice and equality, instead of discrimination and democracy, he explained.
Harahap stressed that Indonesia and Nigeria remained committed to solve economic problems between both countries.
He equally emphasised the importance of the D-8’s contribution to economic development and the promotion of global trade. (NAN)