ISLAMABAD, SEPT 17 (DNA) – Adam Mulawarman Tugio said that ASEAN was a huge market for Pakistan and emphasized that its business community should focus on promoting trade and exports with it to achieve lucrative outcomes for the economy. He said that China has bilateral trade of around USD 600 billion with ASEAN, but Pakistan’s bilateral trade with it was just USD 6 billion, which was not encouraging. He said that Pakistan’s close cooperation with Indonesia would provide it easy access to the immense untapped market of ASEAN countries. He said that Pakistan and Indonesia have many similarities, which should be harnessed for gaining mutual economic benefits. He said that Pakistan and Indonesia needed to promote bilateral trade cooperation in areas in which they have comparative advantage. He highlighted IT, e-commerce and tourism as promising areas for bilateral cooperation between the two countries. He expressed these views while interacting with the business community during his visit to Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI). Fatma Azim Senior Vice President ICCI, Omais Khattak, Muhammad Shakir, Ashraf Farzand, Abbas Hashmi, Shaukat Hayat, Khalid Chaudhry and others were also in the meeting.

The Indonesian envoy said that Pakistani universities should develop study papers on the economic potential of ASEAN region to educate their students and business community that would be helpful in improving bilateral trade as well. He stressed the need of promoting JVs between private sectors of both countries besides encouraging students’ exchanges and organizing trade fairs on reciprocal basis. He further said that Pakistan and Indonesia should work on promoting home grown technologies and industries. He said that Indonesia was organizing a virtual expo due to Covid-19 pandemic and the business community should join it to develop business linkages with Indonesian counterparts.

Speaking at the occasion, Sardar Yasir Ilyas Khan, President, Islamabad Chamber of Commerce & Industry (ICCI) said that Indonesia and Pakistan, with combined population of almost half a billion people were huge markets with immense potential for bilateral trade, investment and economic cooperation, which still remained unutilized. He said that trade volume between Indonesia and Pakistan was just over $2.5 billion, which was not reflective of their actual potential. Therefore, both countries should strive for exploring all untapped areas for further enhancing the existing trade volume. He said that Pakistan was producing many quality products including pharmaceuticals, surgical instruments, food products, IT, light engineering etc. which have great potential in the Indonesian market. He assured that ICCI was ready to work with the Indonesian embassy to promote students’ exchange and business linkages between the two countries. He also highlighted many potential areas of mutual cooperation between Pakistan and Indonesia that would be beneficial for the economies of both countries.