Indonesian delegation upbeat on prospects for closer economic ties

The head of a 22-member business delegation from Indonesia that visited Myanmar last month has expressed optimism about prospects for closer trade and investment ties, media reports said.

Mr Halim Alamsyah said he expected economic relations to strengthen over the next five years because of a better political climate and an enabling business environment, Eleven Media reported on August 24.

“We are looking forward to seeing more Indonesian business people visit Myanmar to enhance Myanmar people’s capacity,” said Alamsyah, the chairman of the Indonesia Deposit Insurance Corporation and a former deputy governor of the country’s central bank.

Further cooperation was expected in promising sectors such as agribusiness, oil and gas, telecommunications, tourism and education, Alamsyah told Eleven Media on the sidelines of a business-matching event.

The report quoted the Indonesian embassy as saying that more than 500 Indonesians were involved in business in Myanmar, in such sectors as logistics support, telecommunications, agribusiness and poultry farms.

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The Directorate of Investment and Company Administration said 13 Indonesian companies had been permitted to operate in Myanmar. It said they had invested a total of US$254.69 million (about K305 billion), or 0.4 percent of total approved foreign direct investment, Eleven Media said.

Commerce Ministry figures show a steady rise in the value of bilateral trade, to $741.79 million in fiscal 2015-2016, up nearly $100 million on the previous year and more than $200 million higher than 2013-2014, the report said.

“We have seen very positive developments in Myanmar since the past three years,” Mr Harryansah Khairul, a counsellor at the Indonesian embassy, told Eleven Media. “You have very impressive economic growth and a lot of room for mutual cooperation,” he said.

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