Indonesia sent a significant number of trade delegations to Qatar last year to increase trade volume between both countries, which currently stands at $430mn, an embassy official said on Sunday.
Indonesia’s major exports to Qatar are paper and stationery, garments, shoes, and agricultural products like coffee, tea, fruits, and vegetables, while imports from Qatar to Indonesia are mostly oil and gas, said Endang Kuswaya, minister counsellor at the Indonesian embassy in Doha.
“Since the economic blockade imposed on the country in June and the visit of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Indonesia in October last year, Qatar-Indonesia relations are getting closer,” Kuswaya told Gulf Times on Sunday.
During His Highness the Emir’s visit, several memoranda of understanding (MoUs) and agreements were signed, “which we are now trying to implement,” he noted.
Kuswaya added: “There is also a meeting between the Indonesia Chamber of Commerce and Qatar Chamber to increase commodity export from Indonesia to Qatar.”
Embassy official Boy Dharmawan said Indonesian Deputy Speaker of the House of Representative Dr Fadli Zon and his accompanying delegation was recently in Qatar under the invitation of the HE the Speaker of the Advisory Council Ahmed bin Abdullah bin Zaid al-Mahmoud.
During the meeting, they discussed bilateral relations between Qatar and Indonesia and means of supporting and developing them, especially in the field of parliamentary co-operation. In this regard, the two sides agreed to establish a parliamentary friendship committee.
The meeting, which was attended by HE the Advisory Council Deputy Speaker Mohamed bin Abdullah al-Sulaiti, HE the Secretary-General of the Advisory Council Fahd bin Mubarak al-Khayarin, and Indonesian ambassador to Qatar Mohamed Basri Sidehabi, also reviewed Islamic issues, and the role of parliaments of Islamic countries in supporting and defending them in international forums.
Zon also met with members of the Indonesian community in Qatar who are working in major sectors like banking, trade, services, telecommunications, and oil and gas. The community is under the leadership of Indonesian Community in Doha (Permiqa) official Edwin Kurniawan.
According to Sidehabi, the gathering was held to inform the Indonesian community with current events in Qatar and the region, including an update of the socio-economic and political development in Indonesia.
In his speech, Zon called for the further strengthening the friendly co-operation between Qatar and Indonesia.
“The bilateral relations between Qatar and Indonesia continue to flourish and develop, especially after the visit of His Highness the Emir Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad al-Thani to Indonesia last year,” Zon said.