Dhaka Seeks Indonesian Capital

17, Jun 2014 | Author: Embassy of Indonesia

Bangladesh on Thursday urged Indonesian business leaders and entrepreneurs to invest here taking advantage of its ‘liberal investment package’.

Foreign Minister Dipu Moni made the call as the two Muslim-dominated nations pledged to ‘redouble’ their efforts to promote relations.

She had bilateral talks with her Indonesian counterpart Raden Mohammad Marty Muliana Natalegawa for nearly two hours at the State Guest House Padma.

After the meeting, the ministers exchanged final notification on visa exemption for diplomats and official passport-holders which was signed in 2010 and is come into effect from Apr 14 this year.

Dipu Moni in a joint briefing said trade, investment and communications dominated the meeting.

She said ‘they can set up either fully-owned and joint venture industries or projects’.

The bilateral trade between Indonesia and Bangladesh crossed $ 1billion in 2011, an increase of more than 32 percent over the previous year.

But Indonesia enjoys huge trade surplus as it imported goods worth only around $ 40 million from Bangladesh that year.

Moni said they also talked about possible areas of investment.

The Foreign Minister requested Indonesia to consider tariff reduction and remove barriers to Bangladesh’s main export items – medicines, readymade garments and ceramics.

The Indonesian Foreign Minister presented a concept of ‘more comprehensive economic partnership’ and stressed on ‘robust investment’ for trade balance.

Natalegawa said special economic zones, palm oil refinery and coal power plants could be the areas entrepreneurs of his country can consider for investment. He said his government would leave it to their country’s private sector to identify opportunities and decide.

He said they went through a “very comprehensive range of areas where we can be redoubling our efforts to promote bilateral relations”.

The Indonesian minister said with confidence: “The best (of the bilateral relations) is yet to come.”

He said Indonesia and Bangladesh have important stories to tell the rest of the world about how two similar countries can work together. “We proved that Islam, democracy and modernity can go hand in hand.”

“There is nothing inherently conflicting between democracy and Islam and modernity.”

Both the ministers were happy with the relationship and believed that much more could be done.

“We would do more,” Dipu Moni said.

Recalling ‘deep-rooted’ relations with Indonesia that began with immediate recognition of Bangladesh in February 1972, she said they had decided “to work together to further expand and deepen the bilateral relationship”.

They also agreed on further interaction at official and business levels to explore more mutual cooperation and reduce the bottlenecks.

They discussed completion of three pending Memorandums of Understanding on science and technology cooperation, agriculture ties and links between Bangladesh Agriculture Research Council and Indonesia Agency for Agriculture Research.

The ministers also discussed possibilities of Dhaka-Jakarta direct air links. “We’ve instructed our officials to do it expeditiously,” Dipu Moni said.

Bangladesh invited the Indonesian President to visit Dhaka this year. The Indonesian minister said he would convey the message to the President and said: ‘I’m sure the invitation will receive positive response.”

Bangladesh also sought Indonesia’s support to become a dialogue partner of Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN).

Natalegawa said during the meeting he had conveyed the message that “Indonesia has confidence in Bangladesh’s capacity to deal with the current challenges and emerge from it even stronger than ever before”.

Dipu Moni said the third joint commission meeting between the two countries would be held ‘definitely’ by this year in Dhaka. The last meeting was held in 2010 in Indonesia.

The Indonesian minister arrived in Dhaka on Thursday and is expected to fly back on Friday.

Source: bdnews24.com

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