Austria expects the bilateral trade volume between it and Indonesia to increase by 25 percent next year, given the enthusiasm between the two countries’ businessmen to form a business partnership.
Walter Koren, director general of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber said in Jakarta on Wednesday that the trade figure was expected to increase from about ¤400 million this year to ¤500 million in 2011.
“I see the growth in Indonesia. I experience that Indonesia more and more comes into the spotlight of Austrian business players,” Koren said at the Indonesia-Austria Economic Forum held in Jakarta on Wednesday.
Federal President of The Republic of Austria Heinz Fischer spent two days, Tuesday and Wednesday, in Indonesia. He was accompanied by delegations from 50 Austrian companies. “Each delegation involves negotiation on the [potential] projects,” Koren said. He added that Indonesia would send a similar delegation in April next year.
As part of the visit, two memorandum of understandings (MoU) and a letter of intent (LoI) were signed by Austrian companies and their Indonesian partners on Wednesday. The cooperation agreements include a joint project of transportation systems in Jakarta and Bandung between Doppelmayr Sellbahnen GmbH and PT Saratoga Infrastruktur, a power generation project between Austria’s Andritz Hydro GmbH and state power company PT PLN, and cooperation on hydropower between Andritz Hydro GmbH and the Indonesian Public Works Ministry
Trade volume between Indonesia and Austria reached its peak in 2008 when the total transaction amounted to more than ¤400 million. Due to the global crisis, the figure dropped to around ¤350 million in 2009. But, Koren said the situation had recovered and he believed that, by the end of this year, the trade volume would reach nearly ¤400 million.
Koren said Austria imported textiles, garment, shoes and agriculture products from Indonesia, while Indonesia imports machinery equipment used in a wide range of sectors from Indonesia.
Josef Mayer, Austria’s vice minister for foreign economic policy and European integration, said the two-way trade could be further increased if Indonesia and the European Union (EU) sign the free trade agreement. The EU will begin negotiation for a free-trade agreement with Malaysia next year, Koren said.
Austria is highly dependent on exports, contributing around 50 percent of the country’s GDP. Around 80 percent of its total exports are designated to European countries. Apart from the trade relations, Austria also invests in some projects in Indonesia. Hari Baktio, deputy chairman of the Indonesian Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM), said that Austria was ranked 35 in terms of foreign direct investment. The BKPM recorded that Austria’s direct investment in Indonesia reached US$20.6 million over the last five years. The investment is spent on 18 projects. (ind)
Source : The Jakarta Post