Qatar and Indonesia trade volume witnessed a 29% year-on-year (y-o-y) growth to reach $758mn in the first seven months of 2022 from $587.6mn, according to Indonesian Minister of Trade Zulkifli Hasan.
Hasan made the statement during the Indonesia-Qatar Business Forum held in Doha yesterday in the presence of Qatar Chamber first vice chairman Mohamed bin Towar al-Kuwari; Saleh bin Majed al-Khulaifi, assistant undersecretary for Commerce at the Ministry of Commerce and Industry; and Indonesian ambassador Ridwan Hasan, as well as other guests.
The Indonesian minister emphasised the growth of Qatari investments in the Southeast Asian nation, citing QNB, Indosat Ooredoo Hutchinson, and Nebras Power. He underscored the need to maximise the “good opportunity” to increase trade as Qatar is hosting the FIFA World Cup 2022, while Indonesia, which holds G20 Presidency for the first time, will host the G20 Summit this November.
According to Hasan, Indonesia’s top export commodities to Qatar include steel, medical equipment, paper and toilet paper, tableware, food and beverages, plywood, and automotive.
Hasan also invited Qatari investors and the business community in Qatar to participate in the Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI), which will be held in Jakarta from October 19-23 (offline) and until December 19 (online).
During his speech, al-Kuwari lauded the longstanding relations of both countries and encouraged members of the Qatari-Indonesian business sector to forge joint investments in light of the investment incentives being offered by the two nations.
Al-Kuwari stressed that Qatar’s business community is keen to strengthen relations with Indonesia and to explore the country’s business climate and the available opportunities there. He described Indonesia as an important gateway to the Southeast Asian region and “a promising market” for many opportunities that would attract Qatari investors.
Aside from its rich natural resources, al-Kuwari said Indonesia also hosts many investment opportunities in sectors, such as tourism, real estate development, mining, food security, services, and halal trade.
Citing Qatar Chamber figures, al-Kuwari said bilateral trade between Qatar and Indonesia increased by 78% from QR1.8bn in 2016 to QR3.22bn in 2021. He said Qatar has invested in Indonesia’s communications, banking, and trading sectors, while Indonesian companies and their Qatari partners share investments in different sectors in Qatar.
Speaking to Gulf Timeson the sidelines of the event, al-Kuwari emphasised the timeliness of the business forum, saying “now is the right time” to increase and explore the investment opportunities of both countries.
Similarly, Indonesian ambassador Ridwan Hasan told this paper that the embassy will be working to bring and host business delegations from both countries. He said the success of Qatar’s investments in Indonesia will encourage more Qatari investors to explore the country’s investment climate.
“We believe the Qatar Investment Authority is already looking into different sectors in Indonesia, including tourism. This business forum is only one of the first steps that we are taking to enhance Indonesia-Qatar economic relations and increase bilateral trade going forward,” he stressed.
Al-Khulaifi, in his speech, also encouraged investors from Qatar and Indonesia to build investment partnerships even as both countries witnessed “a remarkable development” over the past years.
Citing World Bank data, al-Khulaifi said Qatar’s economy is expected to grow by about 4.9% in 2022, while the International Monetary Fund, on the other hand, estimated Qatar’s non-oil sector is expected to witness growth by about 4.1% compared to the oil and gas sector.
The forum was also highlighted by an exhibition by select Indonesian companies specialising in handicrafts, foodstuffs, and other products.