Qatar-Indonesia trade volume has increased by 11.5% per year from 2015 to 2019, reaching almost $1bn in 2020 despite the impact of Covid-19 on global markets, Indonesian ambassador Ridwan Hassan has said.
Hassan pointed out that Indonesia and Qatar have been enjoying “an excellent bilateral relationship,” saying the two countries “are willing to continue strengthening and developing the relations from time to time, especially in economic field.”
The top diplomat stressed that the recent high-level visits of Indonesia’s high-ranking officials to Doha, including Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Lestari Priansari Marsudi, “speaks volumes about the commitment.”
“In 2020, the realisation of Qatar’s direct investment in Indonesia was worth $6.2mn (around 86.7bn Indonesian rupiah), the number that we believe still below the potential, and should be increased in the future.
“We believe that there is an enormous potential in the bilateral relationship, which has yet to be realised and therefore, in the future we expect and encourage more interaction between government officials and business communities, as well as peoples from both countries to tap the potential,” Hassan emphasised.
Speaking on the country’s preparations to host the FIFA World Cup in 2022, Hassan said the Southeast Asian country, through its community in Qatar, “is ready to make this event successful.”
“We have around 17,000 Indonesians in Qatar, and they are a very active, engaging, and dynamic community. For many times, our community groups in Qatar have been invited to participate or just to show-up their performance in several sports events in Qatar.
“That is a recognition from the Qatari authority for the Indonesian community living in Qatar. So, anytime the organising committee of the World Cup needs us, we are more than happy to assist,” Hassan noted.
He added: “As per U-20 World Cup 2021, which is supposed to be held this year in Jakarta, the Indonesian government fully understands with the decision taken by FIFA to postpone the tournament until 2023. We understand that Covid-19 is a global pandemic that requires our collective efforts to address it. The postponement of U-20 World Cup is part of that effort.
“Of course, there are some advantages and disadvantages arising from the decision. However, we fully respect FIFA’s decision, and we will see the positive side of this decision. With this postponement, we, for example, will have more time to prepare everything from infrastructure to the technical preparation of our national team. We hope we will no longer live in the pandemic by 2023.”
Earlier, the ambassador arranged a meeting between Sapta Oktohari, the president of the National Olympic Committee (NOC) of Indonesia, and Qatar-Indonesia Business Council (QIBC) president Farhan al-Sayed, who is also president of the International Walking Football Federation, Asia and Qatar.
Oktohari, who is also vice-president of Kadin Indonesia (Indonesian Chamber of Commerce & Industry), and president of the Indonesian Cycling Federation, as well as vice president of the Asian Cycling Confederation, noted that many Indonesian companies specialising in the sport industry are looking to participate in major projects related to the 2022 FIFA World Cup.