ASEAN KEY DESTINATIONS
Indonesia, Thailand talk trade, investment
Speaking at the "Indonesia-Thailand Business Forum and Business Matching Networking Programs 2010" seminar hosted by the Export Promotion Department in Jakarta, Suthad Setboongsarng, Thailand trade representative, said the Indonesian market had one of the highest potentials in Asean for Thai investors. Having enjoyed strong economic growth and with the highest population in Asean, Indonesia would be the greatest market for Thai enterprises to trade, offer services, and invest in.
The Indonesian population is expected to reach 300 million in the next five years, from the current 254 million. The economy is forecast to grow more than 10 per- cent a year, or by almost 75 percent in the next five years.
Suthad urged Thai enterprises to explore business opportunities in Indonesia not only because of the size of the domestic market, but as a base country for exporting to third markets.
"The slowdown of the world economy is uncontrollable. Many countries are facing uncertain economic growth. However, the rise of Asia and Asean will continue," he said. "Thai investors should consider countries in Asean as their second home, so that they will enjoy long lasting benefits from the integration."
Indonesian Vice Trade Minister Mahendra Siregar urged Thai and Indonesia enterprises to explore business opportunities in each nation. He said that after the change in the global landscape, Asia including Asean would show strong growth. Indonesia exports would no longer rely on traditional markets such as the US, the EU and Japan, but countries in Asean, China, and India. Suthad pointed that the proportion of Indonesia's exports to the US, the EU and Japan had gradually dropped to less than 50 percent last year. On the other hand, exports to Asian countries had increased in the past five years from less than 45 per cent to more than 50 percent.
He said Thai and Indonesian enterprises had a lot of opportunities to invest in each other's countries.
Nipit Isarankura, chairman of the Thai-Indonesia Business Council, said it was the right time for Thai enterprises to do business overseas, as the domestic market is not large enough.
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