Economic Ties with Africa is One of Indonesia’s Foreign Policy
“Indonesian products in West Africa have been recognized for their good quality and affordable price” His Excellency Harry Purwanto, Ambassador of Indonesia to Nigeria
As Indonesia continues to expand business and diplomatic relations with African countries with particular reference to tremendous growth in 2017, the government of Indonesia is set to host the inaugural Indonesia-Africa Forum, come April 2018 , which the government hopes will boost economic partnerships between Indonesia and countries in the Sub-Saharan Africa region. Based on data compiled by the Indonesian Embassy in Abuja, Indonesia’s economic and trade ventures in West Africa has seen a 20% increase or double the initial target set forth by the Indonesian government. The data was made available to the public by His Excellency Harry Purwanto, the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, during an end of year briefing with journalists in Abuja.
According to the statement made available to our correspondent, Indonesia’s non-oil and gas exports to West Africa reached USD.779 Million, which is USD.134 Million higher than the previous year as at October 2017. Indonesia’s export performance to West Africa increased in 9 countries Benin, Burkina Faso, Gabon, Ghana, Republic of Congo, Liberia, Sao Tomo, Togo and Nigeria who led the table on the increase. There is a slight decrease in 2 countries notably Cameroon and Niger. This decrease was due to the fact that exports of Indonesian exports to Niger and Cameroon were conducted through third parties, particularly Niger being a land-locked country.
Ambassador Purwanto says, “Indonesian products in West Africa have been recognized for their good quality and affordable price, hence we are pleased to see that demands in West Africa continues to increase”. Aside from exports, Indonesia’s increasing economic relations with West Africa have also resulted in the rapid diversification in line of business between Indonesian and West Africa counterparts.
Ambassador Purwanto further states “We have seen that positive signs of continued political and economic stability in this region. Indonesians should not hesitate to seek strategic partnerships in West Africa”, this has given rise to selling of conventional Indonesian products such as pharmaceuticals and food, has now resulted to further relations in the strategic industry such as procurement of locomotives, airplanes, military products, and solid minerals. To date, at least 47 Indonesian companies have also established robust business in Lagos, Nigeria.
Spurring economic ties with Africa is one of Indonesia’s foreign policy priorities under President Jokowi’s administration. 2017 witnessed great increase in high level visits between Indonesia and West Africa, such as the visits of Indonesian Foreign Minister and Trade Minister to Nigeria in June and July, visit of Nigerian Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and President of Niger Republic Mahamadou Issoufou to Indonesia in October 2017, and a series of high-ranking Indonesian business officials to West Africa throughout 2017.
In 2018, the country is going to host the Indonesia-Africa Forum and Maritime Dialogue. To further enhance strategic partnerships between Africa and Indonesia, in Bali, by 10th and 11th April 2018. This forum will serve as an important juncture for West African counterparts to identify potential fields of mutual interests with Indonesia, as leaders of all countries in the African continent will convene in the world famous tourist island of Bali, Indonesia which will focus on opportunities in economic cooperation and ways to combat illegal activities at sea.