Indonesian investors interested in rail, energy sectors

Published: April 26, 2019 21:09:39 | Updated: May 18, 2019 13:55:59

-PID photo

Indonesian businesses have expressed their interest to invest in energy, rail, tourism and infrastructure sectors of Bangladesh.

"Indonesia and Bangladesh are considered emerging economies with a combined population of 420 million. It's a huge market that we have to utilise in the best way possible," said Rina P Soemarno, Indonesian ambassador to Bangladesh, reports UNB.

Speaking at Indonesia Fair 2019 Business and Investment Forum at International Convention Centre of Bashundhara in Dhaka on Friday, she called for joint efforts to increase bilateral trade volume.

She noted that the two countries share common views on many regional and international issues such as environment, food and energy security, poverty and disaster management, terrorism, and trans-national crimes.

Soemarno said that her country views Bangladesh as a potential market for Indonesia's strategic and leading industries, as well as investment.

Bilateral trade between the two countries rose to $ 1.97 billion last year, a 48 per cent increase since 2016, she said.

In the first two months of this year, trade volume has reached $ 410 million - 11 per cent more compared to the same period last year.

"Indonesian entrepreneurs and companies have also shown interest in Bangladesh and invest in the country," the ambassador said.

The two countries completed the first round of negotiations for the Indonesia-Bangladesh Preferential Tariff Agreement in February this year.

Ambassador Soemarno said the negotiations are expected to be completed and the IB PTA signed in the first half of 2020.

She said that Indonesian businesses have also shown strong interests for investment and joint venture in Bangladesh.

Railways Minister Md Nurul Islam Sujan said that the bilateral relation has taken a new shape.

"We can be more active and share mutual interest, and boost the longstanding relation of mutual cooperation," he noted, adding that the bilateral trade has grown steadily in recent years.

Paban Chowdhury, executive chairman of Bangladesh Economic Zones Authority, said that they are trying to complete 100 economic zones within 15 years. Thirteen economic zones have been completed and 10 are in operation.

"Many foreign countries are keen to invest in Bangladesh now. Bangladesh is ready for foreign investors," he said.

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