Indonesia is seeking to attract more Qatari investments in a variety of industries, including the dairy sector, said ambassador Ridwan Hassan, who expressed the embassy’s support for Qatar’s food security strategy.
Speaking to Gulf Times recently regarding the southeast Asian nation’s food exports to Qatar, Hassan pointed out that Indonesia is not only working on ramping up trade exchange but also expanding ties in investments and knowledge exchange.
“We have been working with Baladna for quite some time. Two Indonesian companies have signed an MoU with them already. Of course, we have to see the progress on more technical details. But at least the communication is already taking place for quite some time,” the ambassador explained.
In May this year, Baladna, Qatar’s leading dairy producer, signed memoranda of understanding with Indonesian companies PT Perkebunan Nusantara III and PT Berdikari to cooperate on dairy farming initiatives.
PT Perkebunan Nusantara III specialises in crop processing and agribusiness. At the same time, PT Berdikari primarily deals in farming infrastructure and farm management system services, according to a Qatar News Agency (QNA) report.
The report stated: “In a statement published on the Qatar Stock Exchange website on Monday, the proposed joint efforts aim to enhance cooperation, exchange of information and experience to identify, assess and initiate projects relating to the dairy sector in Indonesia to reduce dependency on the import of food products by developing its agricultural and livestock industries through building a reliable livestock breeding infrastructure in Indonesia to enhance food security.
“Baladna has inked similar agreements with leading companies in the Philippines and Malaysia, as part of the dairy company's efforts to expand its successful business model in other countries to enhance worldwide food security.”
Hassan also ensured Indonesia’s support to Qatar’s food security strategy, saying it has already been cooperating with its regional neighbours and other countries through exports of various commodities.
“Food security issue is one of the important agendas for many countries. And Indonesia is also doing that and we are cooperating with many countries, as well as with Qatar,” Hassan explained, adding that Indonesia is among the largest fruit exporters to countries like Singapore, Malaysia, Japan, and China, among others.
On Qatar-Indonesia trade, data provided by the Indonesian embassy in Doha revealed that figures stood at $975.3mn in the first six months of 2023. The southeast Asian country’s exports to Qatar in the first half of 2023 reached $368.7mn, while its imports were pegged at $606.7mn.
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.
In 2020, trade exchange between the two countries stood at $895mn but slightly dipped the following year to $893mn. 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.
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