Indonesia is keen to explore the possibility of making Qatar its export and re-export hub by establishing storage and manufacturing plants in the country’s free zones, according to a business council official.

This was raised by Qatar-Indonesia Business Council president Farhan al-Sayed  during a meeting on Wednesday with Qatar Chamber, which hosted a trade delegation from Indonesia.

The delegation, which is composed of companies representing the energy, tourism, agriculture, furniture, technology, finance, retail, healthcare and e-commerce sectors, was led by Indonesia-Qatar Business Council president Hendra Hartono Turman.

Responding to al-Sayed’s statement, Turman told the meeting, which was presided over by Qatar Chamber first vice chairman Mohamed bin Towar al-Kuwari, that Indonesia is “open to invest abroad” in order to bring the Southeast Asian nation’s food industry “to the next level.”

Citing the 34th Trade Expo Indonesia, which is scheduled from October 16 to 20 in Jakarta, Turman said the event is an ideal platform to inform participants - 50% of which or some 1,000 booths representing the food industry - of the investment opportunities being offered by Qatar.

“Aside from Indomie, we would be glad to invite other Indonesian companies specialising in the food industry to explore the Qatari market and put up processing plants in the country,” Turman noted.

Speaking to Gulf Times on the sidelines of the meeting, al-Sayed said: “I am encouraging Indonesia to invest in Qatar’s trading and free zones; and this is an opportunity for them to become one of the leading countries to pour foreign direct investments into Qatar. This will also help them cater to both Qatar and whole Middle East region.”

Al-Sayed also underscored the presence of Hamad Port, saying the port serves as an added value to international companies operating manufacturing facilities here because it could help them export their products from Qatar.

“With Hamad Port and the free zones, Indonesian companies could also export their products to Qatar, store them here, and then re-export them to other international or regional destinations,” al-Sayed pointed out.

Aside from the food sector, Turman said Indonesia is also known for its manufacturing industry and as a hub of different international brands.“While our strengths are mainly in the food industry, Indonesia’s manufacturing industry is also known for producing many international brands,” he said.

On Qatar’s free zones, Turman also lauded the incentives and logistics facilities being offered by the country to foreign investors.“The council will play a major role in promoting these incentives and the free zones to our companies to enhance the growth of the economic and trade relations between Qatar and Indonesia.”

Related Story