Amid the challenges related to the Covid-19 pandemic global economies are currently facing, new opportunities and growth for Qatar-Indonesia trade relations are to be expected “in the coming period,” a business council executive has said.
“The small and medium-sized enterprise (SME) and industrial sector in Indonesia are struggling to overcome the impact of the pandemic; but we are looking for new opportunities to enhance trade with Qatar,” said Hendra Hartono Turman, the president of the Indonesia-Qatar Business Council (IQBC), during a recently-held webinar.
During the webinar, which was moderated by IQBC secretary general Deva Rachman, Turman was joined by Qatar-Indonesia Business Council (QIBC) president Farhan al-Sayed and Indonesian Embassy economic affairs attache Maulana Syahid.
Turman said “Indonesia is ready” to develop a wide range of innovations for export activities and to open opportunities for Indonesian businessmen to export commodities, such as fruits, cooking oil, and frozen food products, and medical devices, among others.
“We are planning to hold a meeting to draft a programme of activities between Qatar and Indonesia. This would also include virtual business matching between Qatari and Indonesian exporters and importers in categories like food and beverage (F&B) and industrial products,” Turman told participants of the webinar.
With the recent opening of Indonesia’s new embassy in Qatar, Syahid said he is hoping that the new premises would strengthen Indonesia’s relations with Qatar in the economic and trade as well as cultural and political fields.
Syahid said Qatar-Indonesia trade volume in 2019 stood at “QR2.6bn or $565mn” with Indonesian imports amounting to “$343mn” and Qatari exports worth “$222mn.”
Citing the success of the inaugural edition of the “Indonesia Expo 2019” in Doha, al-Sayed invited Indonesian companies to establish themselves at Qatar’s free zones, and to avail of the incentives being offered by the Qatar Free Zones Authority (QFZA).
Al-Sayed said he is looking forward to replicating the success of the “1st Solo Indonesian Products Exhibition in Qatar: Indonesia Expo 2019”, which gathered more than 40 Indonesian companies specialising in paper, garments, jewellery, charcoal, medical equipment, food, lT, manpower service, furniture, and tyre products.
“Qatar is currently facing multiple challenges, namely the political and economic blockade, as well as Covid-19. These challenges only pushed Qatar to rise and innovate for the growth of the economy. It is precisely now that Qatar is building many industries in the field of agriculture, among others, and the opening of direct flights between Indonesia and Qatar,” al-Sayed pointed out.
Rachman said the IQBC and QIBC hosted the webinar to discuss business opportunities between Qatar and Indonesia, and how to deal with obstacles facing businesses from both countries during the pandemic.
“The various health-related protocols guide government institutions, offices, and communities in carrying out their activities using digital facilities for office operations, meetings, and others.
“Webinars are held to build communication and friendship between employees, or the community during this pandemic, which is the right time to innovate and contemplate on new strategies for the post Covid-19 period,” she added.