A Relationship Worth $45 billion

A Relationship Worth $45 billion
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CHENNAI: Seeing bigger potential in the fast growing business between India and Indonesia, the bilateral trade target for 2015 has been revised from USD 25 billion to USD 45 billion, Indonesian Ambassador Andi M Ghalib said here today.

Indonesia would also resume its plan of commencing air traffic to India this June, he said.

"Earlier, the target was to reach 25 billion USD by 2015. But the bilateral trade has already crossed 20 billion USD. So, on the advice of our President we revised it to USD 45 billion last month," Ghalib, who arrived here on a week-long trip till April 26, said.

Indonesia is interested in electronics, telecom and textiles, and India in coal, rubber, timber, palm oil and wood products, he said.

Intending to improve relations with India, the southeast Asian archipelago would also start air traffic of the state owned airlines Garuda Airlines from June this year, he said.

"We have proposed to our government to fly Garuda Airlines flights from Jakarta to Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Kolkata. Traffic would start this June. However, the destinations in India are yet to be finalised," the Ambassador said.

Attempting to facilitate further diplomatic relations between the countries, Indonesia has proposed to set up a Consulate office in Chennai, which is yet to be considered by the Centre.

"Chennai has a lot of potential in business terms and we don't want to be left behind. We have made a proposal to open a Consulate here, next to the one we already have in Mumbai. The Centre will decide on that," Ghalib said.

A business delegation from cities across India would visit the south-east Asian archipelago between May 7 and 13 this year on an official trip arranged by the Indonesian government to give a boost to bilateral trade, another official said.

Asked if Indonesian authorities approached Tamil Nadu Chief Minister Jayalalithaa for any business initiatives, counsellor Leonard F Hutabarat said they were hitherto dealing with the business community and they were open for discussions if the state government was interested.

The Ambassador arrived here on a one week trip and would be in the city till April 26.

(The Times of India)

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