Indonesia, Iran Agree to Boost Trade Value
The meeting between President Joko Jokowi Widodo and Iranian President Hassan Rouhani and on separate occasions with Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Ali Larijani, in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday (14/12), has resulted in several agreements, particularly in the field of economy.
Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi explained that the meeting between President Jokowi and Iranian President as well as Speaker of the Iranian Parliament has been going very well. “At the meeting we discussed the bilateral cooperation in a comprehensive manner with emphasis on improving economic cooperation. The discussion ran very open and friendly,” Marsudi told reporters in Tehran, Iran, Wednesday (14/12) afternoon.
From the political aspect, Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi said that the relations between Iran and Indonesia are in good condition. Iran appreciated the role Indonesia plays that always accentuates peace, dialogue, and other peaceful ways in a bid to help resolve the world’s problems, including those that exist in the Middle East.
“So many times, both Iranian President and Speaker of the Iranian Parliament expressed their appreciation to Indonesia for the position and active role of Indonesia in helping to resolve the world’s problems,” Marsudi said.
Lots of Potential
Meanwhile, when it comes to economic cooperation which becomes the focus of this visit, according to Marsudi, Heads of State and Speaker of the Iranian Parliament Ali Larijani have agreed that a large number of potential cooperation have not been fully maximized.
There are still many rooms to enhance cooperation particularly in the field of trade. Marsudi said that in 2015, Iran – Indonesia trade value is only USD300 million, decreased from the trade value in 2011 which amounted to USD1.8 billion. Therefore, the two Heads of State agreed to take measures in order to increase the trade figures.
Some measures to enhance trade cooperation have been discussed. According to Marsudi, the two Heads of State agreed to try to bring closer the private sector of both countries.
“We will look into whether there are obstacles in trade sector that can be reduced or resolved. We are also trying to diversify trade. We want to increase exports in some products such as paper, crude palm oil, coffee, cocoa. A number of Indonesian products are exported to Iran,” Marsudi said.
According to Marsudi, President Jokowi also embarks on increasing direct trade so that Indonesian products will be competitive when it comes to the price.
Indonesian Foreign Minister added that in the economic relationship, we have the so-called Joint Economic Commission. “We just had a meeting in Indonesia in November, and the President suggested that what was discussed by the two Heads of State be immediately acted upon in the Joint Economic Commission and will be conducted by February,” Marsudi said.
Marsudi also said that the President has requested Minister of Energy and Mineral Resources to follow up matters related to cooperation in the fields of energy and oil and gas. “Energy cooperation, oil and gas are our main focus. They are very concrete and clear,” Marsudi said.
The two Heads of State, Marsudi went on to explain, also addressed people to people contact. For example, efforts to boost tourism, Iranian President hopes that there will be a direct flight from Jakarta to Tehran. “The two Heads of State agreed on the importance of joint efforts to enhance cooperation in the field of tourism,” she said.
Marsudi added that when it comes to banking, it has been agreed between Bank Indonesia and the Central Bank of Iran as well as with the Indonesian Financial Services Authority (OJK) to discuss the possibility of renewing the cooperation of the central bank. “We already have a Memorandum of Understanding but it does not work for long. So there will be renewal of the MoU between Bank Indonesia and the Central Bank of Iran,” she continued.
In order to simplify our private business in Iran, according to the Minister, the Government will issue the guidelines of doing business with Iran. This will make private sector easy to know the guidelines. (CBS/UN/ ES) (MUR/YM/Naster)