Total trade volume between Qatar and Indonesia, which has grown by 154 percent to $877m last year from $346m in 2017, is set to cross the $1bn-mark by next year, according to the Qatar-Indonesia Business Council (QIBC).
Qatari exports to Indonesia jumped to $728m in 2018 from $214m in 2017, while Qatari imports from Indonesia grew to $148m last year from $131m in 2017, data previously released by the Qatar Chamber (QC) showed.
Indonesia, which is over a trillion dollar economy, is a very important partner for Qatar. The country seeks to triple its trade volume with Qatar to $3bn in the next three years, while maintaining an economic growth above 5 percent by increasing its exports.
“Indonesia is a G20 member, the largest Islamic country in the world, and the largest economy in ASEAN countries. I’m expecting the trade volume between Qatar and Indonesia to pass over $1bn in the coming year. And we won’t stop there. We will carry on. The relations between both countries are going to diversify. We will have a very diversified business relations in the future,” said QIBC President ,Farhan Al Sayed while talking to The Peninsula on the sidelines of the Indonesia Expo 2019 which opened in Doha yesterday.
Al Sayed added that the event, which is Indonesia’s first solo trade exhibition in Qatar, will create more opportunities for growth in trade relations by connecting Indonesian businesses with their Qatari counterparts. A number of partnership deals are also expected to be signed during the three-day event, added Al Sayed.
“We’re looking at Qatar’s industrial free trade zones, and we’re expecting investments from Indonesia in aspects of manufacturing plants. I just had a chat with the largest Indonesian tire manufacturer, and they said that’s a great opportunity to invest. The cable company from Indonesia is also very interested to look into that prospect of investing in Qatar. Qatar is set to become an export market, through Iran to Turkey, and all the way to Europe, while catering to the Middle East. And we’ll be proud to have a tire manufacturer, battery manufacturer, and cable manufacturer, and exporting their products from Qatar. We will look forward to such opportunities for investment,” Al Sayed said.
Indonesia currently has a number of oil and gas projects to reach the target of refining one million barrels per day. The country is also trying to build a new capital city which presents several investment opportunities for Qatari investors.
“I think there will be a possibility of interest when the proposal will be made from the new capital and the government of Indonesia. Probably, it will be very interesting for Qatar Investment Authority to show interest, and understand the proposal of the projects. Also, I believe the Aceh Province also has some interesting opportunities. Their oil refinery and other related businesses have high potential of investment opportunities which I’m definite that Qatar Petroleum and Qatar Investment Authority will show keen interest, once a proposal is made through the embassy here in Qatar,” added Al Sayed. More than 40 Indonesian companies from various sectors are participating in the exhibition. Indonesia’s largest tire manufacturer Gajah Tunggal Tires (GT Tires), which is also one of the biggest in South East Asia, is exhibiting in Qatar for the first time. However, the company has been exporting its products to Qatar since 1986, and now seeks to increase its market share in the country.
“We produce 45,000 tires per day for passenger cars and another 11,000 tires per day for buses. We export our quality products at competitive prices to more than 100 countries around the world. For now, we’re focusing on trying to gain more market share in Qatar. But maybe in the future, we can build a tire manufacturing in Qatar and export to nearby countries,” said Tonny Steve Nelwan, Senior Manager, Sales (Export) at GT Tires.