Jakarta (Indonesia Window) – Indonesia and Russia have agreed to hold a technical meeting to discuss bilateral trade barriers in order to achieve the trade target of 5 billion U.S. dollars.
The plan is one of the results of the 4th Bilateral Consultation Forum which took place virtually on Wednesday (March 3), chaired by the Director General of America and Europe at the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ngurah Swajaya, and the Deputy Minister of Foreign Affairs of Russia, Igor Morgulov.
In the forum, Ambassador Swajaya emphasized three points to strengthen the bilateral cooperation that has been lasting for 71 years, namely building strategic partnerships that are more action-oriented, pushing the economic diplomacy, and focusing on cooperation in the new normal era.
Therefore, the forum proposed a one-and-half-track discussion between the stakeholders of the two countries.
Meanwhile Ambassador Morgulov said it was time for relationship between the two countries to be further enhanced.
The Russian government expressed its support for accelerating the process of forming the FTA (Free Trade Agreement) between Indonesia and the Eurasian Economic Union (EAEU) which has been discussed since 2019.
In the forum, Indonesia and Russia also identified several potential collaborations that would be followed up, including in the fields of tourism, health and education.
In the tourism sector, the two countries agreed on a plan to open direct flight routes from Russia’s major cities, such as St. Petersburg, Krasnoyarsk and Novosibirsk to Indonesia’s Denpasar in Bali by a Russian airline, Nordwind.
In addition, Indonesia and Russia also plan to cooperate in the procurement of medicines by pharmaceutical companies of the two countries.
Another important agreement resulted from the 4th Bilateral Consultation Forum was to increase educational cooperation, particularly through scholarship programs implemented by each country, as well as diplomat training for both parties.
Russia is Indonesia’s largest trading and investment partner from Eastern and Southeastern Europe, with an average trade balance of 2.3 billion U.S. dollars in the last five years.
In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 trade balance recorded a surplus for Indonesia of 16 million U.S. dollars, with a total trade value of 1.93 billion U.S. dollars.
Vegetable oils, footwear, tea, coffee, cocoa and electrical appliances are some of Indonesia’s main commodities exported to Russia. Meanwhile, Russia exports steel, potassium and wheat to Indonesia.
In addition, the value of Russia’s direct investment in Indonesia in 2020 was recorded at 4.6 million U.S. dollars with 202 projects, mostly in the chemical and pharmaceutical industry sectors.
Reporting by Indonesia Window