Kuningan, West Java, (Antara Sumbar) - The foreign Ministry has encourage Indonesian businessmen to expand business and trade to African countries.
"We have paved the way with expansion of international relations with African countries and we expect the business sector to follow with business expansion, Director General of Information and Diplomacy at the Foreign Ministry Niniek Kun Naryatie said .
The priority given to economic diplomacy with African countries in 2017 is to pave the way for the country's business sector to expand business to that continent, Niniek said here on Thursday (March 16).
"It has to be hand in hand . We have invested politically and that should be followed with economic investment.
"The government functions to create a conducive condition. Knocking the door and when the door has been opened the private sector should enter," he said.
He said business people from other countries are seeking to invest in Africa is predicted to grow fast in the coming years, and Indonesia should not be too far left behind.
Earlier Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi, at a meeting with South African President Jacob Zuma said one of the Indoensian priorities in economic diplomacy in 2017 is promoting economic relations with African countries.
"Africa has big potentials therefore, it is important for Indonesia to expand and strengthen relations with that continent including South Africa," Retno told the South African President at the meeting in Cape Town early last month.
Trade between the two countries was valued at US$860 million in the first 10 months of 2016.
Earlier this month Indonesia hosted the first summit meeting of the Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) which groups 21 countries including eastern Africa.
The summit meeting end with the signing of the Jakarta Concord
The Jakarta Concord that called for promotion of regional cooperation in economy and investment, and to maintain security and peace in the Indian Ocean.
"Implementation of the the Jakarta Concord would facilitate export penetration by Indonesia in Africa and South Asia," Deputy for Coordination in Maritime Sovereignty at the office of the Maritime Coordinating Ministry Arif Havas Oegroseno said .
Havas said the Jakarta Concord would lift Indonesian profile in Africa contributing to trade negotiations.
He said Indonesia could take advantage in trade as the country's capability in maritime is recognized by IORA member countries.
He said the Indonesian government would propose the establishment of port networks in the Indian Ocean rim to open access to a number of ports in Africa.
The port network would be strengthened with customs and excise system in all ports in the Indian Ocean, setting tariffs and investment, he said.
The success in the implementation of the Jakarta Concord would be determine by synergy between government agencies such as the trade ministry and the Capital Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) and bilateral cooperation between countries, he said. (*)
Editor: Vicha Faradika