Jakarta: The governments of Indonesia and Argentina are striving to encourage increased economic ties, including in the fields of trade, investment and agriculture.
This was one of the outcomes of a bilateral meeting held between Indonesia's Coordinating Minister for Economic Affairs Darmin Nasution and Argentina's Vice President Gabriela Michetti here on Wednesday.
According to Darmin, currently, the economic cooperation between the two countries does not reflect the real potential because there are still many opportunities to be worked on.
At present, Argentina is Indonesia's largest trading partner in South America with a total trade value of 1.68 billion US dollars, an increase of 17.96 percent compared to that of 2017.
Indonesia's exports to Argentina include footwear and footwear products amounting to 71.47 million US dollars, rubber and rubber products worth 46.79 million US dollars, as well as 46.3 million US dollars worth of machinery and electrical equipment.
Meanwhile, the three main products imported by Indonesia from Argentina were oilcake valued at 934.98 million US dollars, cereal valued at 220 million US dollars and cotton at 51.2 million US dollars.
Overall, Indonesia still has a trade deficit with Argentina due to tariff and non-tariff trade barriers, issues of dumping, connectivity and language constraints.
For this reason, it is necessary to formulate concrete steps in creating a balanced and mutually beneficial trade cooperation for the two countries.
These steps include expanding market access in Argentina for Indonesian products, diversifying export products and reducing trade barriers.
On this occasion, Indonesia is also exploring the formation of free trade cooperation with the South American Trade Association (MERCOSUR).
As a first step in establishing a free trade partnership, Indonesia proposed a joint feasibility study.
For cooperation in agriculture, Indonesia and Argentina have a common interest in ensuring sustainable food security for the welfare of the community.
Therefore, efforts have been made to implement agricultural cooperation to open up market access for Indonesian horticulture products and commitment to transfer agricultural machinery technology from Argentina.
Indonesia also offered airplanes produced by PT Dirgantara Indonesia, specifically the CN 212 and N 219 types.
The aircraft will function as a replacement for the procurement of various aircraft in the same classes that are currently operated in Argentina.
Also present during the visit were Argentina's Ambassador to Indonesia Ricardo Bocalandro, Indonesian Ambassador to Argentina Niniek Kun Naryatie, and Argentina's Minister of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries Guillermo Bernaudo. (Antara)