ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Indonesia told to invest in Vietnam to boost trade
Trade Minister Enggartiasto "Enggar" Lukita has urged Indonesian businesspeople to cooperate with Vietnam to boost trade and investment, instead of competing with the country.
The cooperation includes investing in Vietnam to sell more products to countries that Vietnam has free trade agreements (FTA) with, said the ministry at the sixth Indonesia-Vietnam Joint Commission on Economics, Scientific and Technological Cooperation (JC-ESTC) in Hanoi over the weekend.
“We need to invest in Vietnam not only because it has 93.3 million people [third biggest country in terms of population in ASEAN], but also because of the other countries that have bilateral FTAs with Vietnam,” he said in a press release.
Read also: Vietnam targets 6.4 - 6.8% growth in 2018
Some Indonesian firms run businesses in Vietnam’s property, cement and coal sectors while Vietnamese firms are interested in Indonesia’s coal industry.
Indonesia has seen a trade deficit with Vietnam from 2012 to 2016 with the deepest deficit of US$966.5 million in 2014 before easing to $182.6 million, last year.
Total trade reached $6.2 billion last year, with Indonesia exporting $3 billion, dominated by copper, pepper, ground fruits, coconuts, coal, palm oil and its products.
In the first five months this year, nevertheless, Indonesia has managed to book a trade surplus of $5.1 million. (bbn)
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