Pakistan, Indonesia agree to bring balance in bilateral trade

  • Indonesian businessmen can benefit from CPEC, PM Abbasi tells President Widodo
  • Several MoUs on import of LNG and POL products, 20 new tariff lines
  • Islamabad assured support for Indian-Ocean Rim Association bid

ISLAMABAD – Pakistan and Indonesia on Saturday agreed to exploit the untapped potential of both countries in order to strengthen trade ties.

According to a press release, the decision was made during a meeting between Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and Indonesian President Joko Widodo at the PM House in Islamabad.

Upon arrival, President Widodo was presented Guard of Honor by a smartly turned out contingent of the armed forces.

After a tete-a-tete, PM Abbasi and President Widodo held an in-depth exchange of views, at delegation level, on bilateral relations and a wide range of international and regional issues of shared interest.

The two leaders agreed that there was a need to improve the trade imbalance. The two sides acknowledged that there is considerable untapped potential to expand trade taking advantage of the PTA (preferential trade agreement). The two sides agreed to further increase tariff lines under the existing mechanism of PTA between the two countries. There was also unanimity of views to work together for gradually taking PTA to the level of Free Trade Agreement.

The two leaders emphasized the importance of cooperation at the multilateral forums. Indonesia reiterated its support for Pakistan’s bid for Full Dialogue Partnership with ASEAN. Indonesia also assured Pakistan to support its bid for Indian-Ocean Rim Association.

The prime minister briefed Indonesian President on Pakistan’s efforts to enhance regional connectivity and development including through China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC). He underscored that Indonesian businessmen can benefit from vast investment opportunities offered by the CPEC.

Discussing regional situation, Prime Minister Abbasi briefed President Widodo on Pakistan’s efforts to promote peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan. He also appreciated Indonesia’s desire to assist Afghanistan in peace and reconciliation which is vital for regional security.

The two leaders reaffirmed that the people of Pakistan and Indonesia share deep political, cultural, religious ties and respect for democratic values. Being the largest countries in the Islamic world, the two stand together for their progress, prosperity, stability, security and territorial integrity.

Besides agreeing to strengthen their defense and security cooperation, the two leaders also agreed to intensify Counter-Terrorism cooperation. Prime Minister Abbasi briefed President Widodo on Pakistan’s counter-terrorism efforts.

Abbasi also briefed Widodo on the steps taken by Pakistan to resolve all outstanding issues with India including the core issue of Jammu and Kashmir. He highlighted the grave human rights situation in IOK.

After their talks, Prime Minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi and President Joko Widodo attended a signing ceremony of memorandums of understanding (MoUs) between the two countries. The countries signed MoU regardin the import of LNG and POL products from Indonesia, Additional Protocol to PTA for 20 new tariff lines, Trade facilitation. An agreement was also signed by Foreign Service Academy and Centre of Training and Education Indonesia.