The Jakarta Post
Indonesia aims to boost trade with Ecuador and institute working partnerships aimed at developing both countries' human resources as well as to explore potential investment opportunities.
Director of the directorate for South America and the Caribbean at the Foreign Ministry, Musthofa Taufik Abdul Latif, said that the amount of trade with Ecuador reached US$80 million in 2012, but added that Indonesia's trade with the country decreased to $76 million in 2013.
'We aim to boost our trade with Ecuador through establishing new working groups so that many more opportunities can be created,' Musthofa told The Jakarta Post on Monday.
The two countries signed a trade pact when President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono visited Ecuador in 2012.
Musthofa added that the energy was the sector with the largest potential, citing the $350 million investment that Bakrie Kalila made in Ecuador in 2012.
Furthermore, an Indonesian trade and investment working group will be sent to Ecuador in September to explore market opportunities for investment.
Indonesia and Ecuador have not forged any official bilateral energy deals, but deputy director for the directorate of South American and Caribbean affairs Pinardi Priambodo said that investment would most likely be aimed in that field.
'The programs are still being organized, but this is an additional step toward improving relations between Ecuador and the South American continent as well,' he told The Jakarta Post on Friday on the sidelines of an event to
commemorate Ecuador's independence day.
The program would involve a delegation from an Ecuadorian university to travel to Indonesia to learn how to improve human resource quality in the energy sector. Indonesia would in return send experts to Ecuador.
Indonesia's largest exports to Ecuador are mostly consumer products, as well as paper, furniture and rubber.
Ecuador declared its independence from Spain on Aug. 10, 1809.
Indonesian-Ecuador diplomatic relations began in 1973 after the Ecuadorian ambassador to Japan visited Jakarta. A diplomatic relations agreement was announced in 1980. Ecuador opened its embassy in Jakarta in 2004 before being forced to close it down in 2008. The embassy reopened in 2009
Indonesia did not open an embassy in the Ecuador capital city of Quito until 2010.
Before the embassy was opened, Indonesian matters were handled by the Ecuadorian embassy in Japan.
Ecuadorian President Rafael Correa Delgado visited Indonesia in 2007 at the invitation of President Yudhoyono. President Yudhoyono visited the South American country in 2012.
Despite economic cooperation, trade relations between the two countries have not been extensive and are usually dominated by import activities through third countries. (dyl/nvn)
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