Trade Minister suggests reactivating bilateral forum with Vietnam
20/08/2023 (Antara News), Semarang, Central Jawa - Indonesia's Trade Minister Zulkifli Hasan has suggested reactivating the bilateral forum with Vietnam to improve bilateral trade.
"The proposal was welcomed by Vietnam as the bilateral meeting between the two countries had stopped due to the COVID-19 pandemic," Hasan said in Semarang, Central Java on Sunday after the meeting with his Vietnamese counterpart Nguyen Hong Dien.
Hasan and Dien held a bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the 55th ASEAN Economy Minister Meeting (AEM) and Related Meeting held in Semarang.
The minister has conveyed his interest to visit Vietnam along with entrepreneurs in various sectors such as agriculture, fishery, and electric vehicle industry including the processing of rare earth metals to explore business cooperation with Vietnam.
Meanwhile, Vietnamese Trade Minister Nguyen Hong Dien stated that his country is ready to cooperate with Indonesia and expects that the reactivation of bilateral forums can reduce trade barriers.
Dien would also invite Vietnamese businessmen to attend the Business Forum to be held on the sidelines of the ASEAN Summit in September in Jakarta. The country has eyed Indonesia's corn and crude palm oil.
In response to Dien's plan, Hasan stated that he would arrange a meeting between Vietnamese businessmen and Indonesia's largest CPO producer.
"We are ready to bring together Vietnamese businesspersons with Indonesia's top CPO producer," he said.
Total trade between Indonesia and Vietnam in January-June 2023 was recorded at US$6.22 billion. Whereas in 2022, the total trade between the two countries reached US$13.31 billion, an increase compared to 2021 which amounted to US$11.06 billion.
In 2022, Indonesia's exports to Vietnam were recorded at US$8.49 billion while imports from Vietnam reached US$4.82 billion. Thus, Indonesia has a trade surplus of US$3.67 billion.