As the world strives to recover from the effects of the pandemic, Indonesian Ambassador to Cambodia Sudirman Haseng said the business ties between Cambodia and Indonesia will only become stronger.
He made the remarks at a kick-off event for the 36th Trade Expo Indonesia – Digital Edition today held at the Embassy of the Republic of Indonesia in Phnom Penh.
Interested buyers of Indonesian products were encouraged to register at the Trade Expo Indonesia website to network with Indonesian companies. The expo will run until November 4.
Local business leaders, members of the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce (IndoCham), diplomats, and members of the Indonesia-Cambodia Business Club (ICBC) convened to partake in the virtual trade expo that was attended by Indonesian embassies around the world.
After awards were given to top Indonesian companies and trade commitments were signed between Indonesia and several countries.
Ambassador Haseng addressed the crowd at the embassy in Phnom Penh and hinted towards a bright collaborative future between Cambodia and Indonesia.
He said economic recovery in the region doesn’t only depend on governmental action, but efforts from organizations like ICBC and the IndoCham as well.
The ambassador maintained that the connection between the two countries will symbolize a strong engine of economic growth.
He added that next year, Indonesia will chair the G20 while Cambodia will chair ASEAN and this will provide a foundation for even more partnership between the two countries.
The Indonesian Chamber of Commerce was recently formed on September 23 this year.
President of IndoCham Dalton Wong told Cambodia Investment Review: “Despite the pandemic, we have witnessed the growth of Indonesian international trade and the growth is tremendous. Even though Cambodia’s involvement is still relatively small, there are definitely great opportunities for growth in terms of bilateral trade.”
“IndoCham’s main mission is to make sure both countries have access to necessary information for the businesses and enterprises that are available. We’re definitely looking forward to more trade relationships between Indonesia and Cambodia.”
In 2020, Indonesia was the seventh-largest exporter of goods to the Kingdom. Total trade between the two countries in 2020 was valued at $588.65 million, with Indonesian exports accounting for $493.94 million, according to the Indonesian Embassy in Phnom Penh.
Between 2015-2019, trade increased by 10.26 percent and reached $666.11 million in 2019 before regressing 10.96 percent in 2020 due to Covid-19.
Popular imported Indonesian products in Cambodia include pre-packaged food and beverages, pharmaceutical products, and vehicles. According to the Indonesian Embassy in Phnom Penh, Indonesian pharmaceutical products in particular are highly regarded in Cambodia.
Indonesia has historically exported far more goods to Cambodia than it has imported. In 2019, Cambodia exported $22.51 million worth of goods to Indonesia, with the top exports being apparel and footwear.
According to the embassy, there is potential for more Indonesian investment in infrastructure – particularly roads – and agriculture. From 2015-2019, Indonesia ranked 16th in terms of foreign direct investment in Cambodia.
Goenardi Hendra, the Chief Financial Officer of Hanesan Commercial Co, Ltd – one of the inaugural members of IndoCham – said: “We think that through this organization, [IndoCham] we can have a great network and help each other grow and improve.”