Islamabad, 6 September 2023 (TDI): The Indonesian Ambassador to Pakistan, Adam M. Tugio, recently shed light on the growing interest of Indonesian businesses in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) Special Economic Zones (SEZs).

The Ambassador emphasized Pakistan’s pivotal role as a conduit for Indonesian enterprises aiming to tap into the Central Asian markets and beyond.

Ambassador Tugio highlighted the proactive engagement and investment of Indonesian businesses in SEZs under CPEC.

A testament to this collaboration is the establishment of factories by two Indonesian companies in Faisalabad and Sindh.

The Ambassador emphasized that CPEC is not just a corridor of roads and rails; it’s a beacon of economic prosperity, driving infrastructure and energy projects that are pivotal for Pakistan’s socio-economic uplift.

Ambassador Tugio elaborated on the broader spectrum of Pak-Indonesia relations. He pointed out the exponential growth in bilateral trade since the Pak-Indonesia Preferential Trade Agreement in 2013, with trade volumes tripling to $4.2 billion annually from a modest $1.3 billion.

However, Ambassador Tugio also highlighted the need for diversifying trade portfolios.

A significant chunk of trade revolves around a few products, with Pakistan importing 75% of its palm oil and 7% of its coal from Indonesia. On the flip side, textile and leather dominate Pakistan’s exports to Indonesia.

Post-pandemic global supply chain dynamics have shifted, and both nations have unique strengths to offer. While Pakistan is renowned for its textile and garment industry, it relies heavily on imports for raw materials like cotton and polyester.

Here, Indonesia can become a reliable supplier, further strengthening trade ties.

Also Read: Pakistan-Indonesia Discuss Bilateral Ties and Afghan Crisis

On the defence front, Pakistan’s prowess in aviation technology, particularly its jet fighters, has piqued Indonesia’s interest.

The 2018 visit of Indonesian President Joko Widodo to a Pakistan Air Force base stands as a testament to potential future collaborations in this sector.

Education is another domain where both nations are fostering ties. The increasing trend of Pakistani students opting for higher education in East Asia, particularly Indonesia, is noteworthy.

Recognizing this trend, the Indonesian government has ramped up scholarship offerings for Pakistani students. 170 scholarships were granted this year alone, a significant jump from the previous year.

Lastly, in the face of global challenges like terrorism and extremism, both nations collaborate closely.

The synergy between the Indonesian counter-terrorism agency and Pakistan’s National Counter Terrorism Authority (NACTA) is a beacon of hope, signalling a united front against these challenges.