Robust Indonesia-Qatar bilateral economic ties are expected to play a role in pushing the trade volume of both countries across the $1bn mark by the end of the year, Indonesian ambassador Ridwan Hassan has said.
According to data provided to Gulf Times by the Indonesian embassy in Qatar, both countries’ trade volume from January to June 2023 has reached $975.3mn. The southeast Asian country’s exports to Qatar in the first half of 2023 stood at $368.7mn, while its imports were pegged at $606.7mn.
Statistics from the embassy also showed that trade between both nations stood at $1.3bn in 2022 comprising $296.8mn worth of Indonesian exports to Qatar and imports amounting to $974mn for a trade balance of $677.2mn in favour of Qatar.
The embassy recorded an upward trajectory in Indonesia-Qatar trade volume from $895mn in 2020 to $975.3mn (January to June 2023), except for a slight dip in 2021 ($893mn).
From January to June this year, Indonesia’s exports to Qatar comprised ‘articles of iron or steel’, ‘paper and paper pulp’; ‘electrical machinery and equipment and parts’; ‘vehicles and parts and accessories’; ‘footwear, gaiters’; ‘soap, organic surface-active agents’; ‘furniture, bedding, mattresses’; ‘wadding, special yarns, ropes and cables’; ‘ceramic products’; ‘wood, plywood, wood charcoal’: ‘apparel and clothing accessories, knitted or crocheted’; and ‘essential oils and resinoids, perfumery, cosmetic or toilet preparations’.
During the same period, Qatar’s exports to Indonesia included ‘gas, oil and products of their distillation’; ‘aluminium and articles’; ‘plastics and articles’; and ‘organic chemicals’, data from the Indonesian embassy stated.
“Qatar-Indonesia trade is certainly growing; it is not as big as other countries but our bilateral economic relations have been growing stronger year-on-year. Qatar is a very open market and there are many players here from other countries supplying a lot of products.
“But despite that, Indonesia can offer something different to equip the local industry here. While it is a competitive market, Indonesia can still compete with the major players by offering the market with unique but essential products,” Hassan told Gulf Times.
Speaking about the embassy’s participation in the recently held Hospitality Qatar 2023, Hassan said the event witnessed the participation of a significant number of private-sector companies from Indonesia.
“We have a substantial number of Indonesian companies that participated in Hospitality Qatar 2023, reflecting Indonesia and Qatar's strong cooperation ties. Our close relations with this country will also play a role in helping us meet our expectations to surpass last year’s total trade volume,” Hassan added.
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