The Jakarta Post
Indonesia writes a new chapter in the "Maritime Silk Road" story as a two-time Country of Honor at the China-ASEAN Expo
Indonesia, the fourth-most populous country in the world, is set to steal the show at the forthcoming 16th China-ASEAN Expo, which will be held from Sept. 21-24 in Nanning, China. The country has once again been named the Country of Honor of the Expo, attracting more attention and interest from all parties.
Last year Indonesia, which attaches great importance to the China-ASEAN Expo, was also selected as the Country of Honor at the 15th China-ASEAN Expo.
"As the largest economy of ASEAN and an important member of the G20, Indonesia has become the Country of Honor of China-ASEAN for the second time, which is of great significance," said Marolop Nainggolan, director of export development cooperation at the National Export Development Directorate General of Indonesia’s Trade Ministry at a press conference regarding the Country of Honor status at the 16th China-ASEAN Expo on July 11.
China and Indonesia are close friends as well as strategic partners. The year 2019 marks the 69th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between China and Indonesia.
The economic and trade cooperation between Indonesia and China has been developing rapidly for many years. China, the world’s second-largest economy, has been Indonesia's largest trading partner for eight consecutive years.
This year is also the first year of the "China-ASEAN Strategic Partnership Vision 2030", China-ASEAN Media Exchange Year. It will also see further promotion of the "Belt and Road" initiative. It is a new starting point that brings new opportunities.
Leveraging the annual China-ASEAN Expo, China-Indonesia economic and trade cooperation has achieved remarkable results
In recent years, bilateral economic and trade cooperation between Indonesia and China has developed in an all-round way, especially in the areas of trade, investment and project contracting.
In 2018, the bilateral trade volume reached US$77.4 billion and China became Indonesia's largest trading partner and the largest export destination; China's direct investment in Indonesia reached $2.4 billion, making it the third-largest source of foreign investment in Indonesia.
Over the years, Indonesia has actively participated in the China-ASEAN Expo, and achieved remarkable results.
In the previous 15 China-ASEAN Expos, Indonesia has opened 1,829 booths, with 1,022 Indonesian companies taking part. During the 15th China-ASEAN Expo in 2018, Indonesia independently used the D4 exhibition hall of Nanning International Convention and Exhibition Center as the Indonesian Commodity Hall.
A total of 71 companies opened 83 booths to showcase Indonesian specialty foods, handicrafts, furniture, services and other items. Through the China-ASEAN Expo, more and more Indonesian goods have entered the homes of ordinary Chinese people. Indonesian cocoa beans, well-made household supplies, handicrafts, etc. are especially popular among Chinese consumers.
At the Indonesia National Promotion Conference of the 15th ASEAN Expo, Pacific Construction Group, China, signed a strategic cooperation agreement with Indonesian company PT. Famindo Inovasi Teknologi.
According to the agreement, the two parties will give full attention to their respective advantages in resources, operation, construction and management. Both will invest US$5 billion in Belitung Island port, a power station and a high-tech industry-city integrated industrial park for joint efforts in development and construction.
The Sinar Mas Group PD4 project in Indonesia jointly contracted by Jianglian International Engineering Co., Ltd. and Indonesia's Jawa-Garawang involves a total investment of $158 million. According to statistics from the Indonesian co-organizer, the on-site transaction volume of the Indonesian Commodity Hall at the 15th China-ASEAN Expo amounted to $6.21 million.
Indonesia continues to write new chapters in "Maritime Silk Road" story
An Indonesian national leader will not only lead a delegation to attend the 16th China-ASEAN Expo but also participate in a raft of important activities. The exchanges and cooperation between China and Indonesia will be further deepened. An Indonesian national leader will deliver a speech at the opening meeting of the Expo as well as the Business and Investment Summit. Indonesia’s trade minister will co-chair the opening ceremony of the China-ASEAN Expo with Chinese ministers. Leaders of both China and Indonesia will also attend a series of important events such as the bilateral meeting of leaders and the opening ceremony of the "City of Charm".
During the 16th China-ASEAN Expo, Indonesia will continue to showcase its handicrafts, wooden furniture, food, textiles and other specialty goods as well as mining industry investment information, trade and investment services at a chartered exhibition hall. Indonesian companies have actively participated in the China-ASEAN Expo, and it is expected that the 16th China-ASEAN Expo will attract nearly 1,000 Indonesian exhibitors.
Among them, Sinar Mas Group is a regular exhibitor at the Expo, participating in the exhibition since the 1st China-ASEAN Expo. Oei Ek Tjhong, chairman of the group, said that the Expo actively served the "Belt and Road" initiative and provided a good platform for economic and trade exchanges and cooperation between Chinese and ASEAN countries. Sinar Mas Group is willing to actively participate in the 16th China-ASEAN Expo and continue to showcase its own business.
In addition, Indonesia will also organize a series of Country of Honor activities, such as nation-specific promotion conferences, "City of Charm" cultural performances, etc., to highlight its national image and show its development achievements and business opportunities in the economic and cultural fields. A wealth of high-end exchange activities for the Country of Honor, investment and trade, as well as special promoting activities will also be held.
In the past 15 years, China-ASEAN Expo has been based in and served the China-ASEAN Free Trade Area. At the same time, it is open to the world and committed to promoting economic and trade exchanges between the countries along the "Belt and Road" and the economies in the free trade zone, providing new opportunities for mutual benefits and common prosperity for all parties. It has grown into the most popular exhibition in the business circle with the highest level of participation by ASEAN companies in the China-ASEAN Free Trade Zone.
The 16th China-ASEAN Expo is a new starting point with new opportunities. The Expo will provide a broader channel and platform for ASEAN countries including Indonesia to conduct in-depth exchanges, cooperation and negotiations, and participate in the "Belt and Road" initiative and help Indonesia and China to embark on a new journey of cooperation.