The Indonesian Ambassador Lt Gen (Retd) Andi M Ghalib on Wednesday met Punjab Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal to explore cooperation in various sectors including Bio-Technology,Information Technology,marketing of agriculture produce,education and tourism.
After the meeting,Ghalib observed that there was immense mutual benefit for people on both sides as Punjab and Indonesia had many similarities,particularly since both economies were agro-based.
He said trade between India and Indonesia had grown substantially during the past few years. The Ambassador pointed out that the two countries had targeted a trade volume of $ 10 billion by 2010 but that figure was achieved by 2008 itself and hence the target was revised to $ 20 billion. The trade target of $ 25 billion by 2015 has now been revised to $ 45 billion,he added.
Ghalib said that direct flights from Mumbai and Chennai to Jakarta will start soon and the journey would take only about five hours. Also on the cards are direct flights from Delhi and Kolkata to Jakarta. He added that Indonesia has extended the facility of visa on arrival to Indians in view of excellent relations between the two countries.
The Ambassador also noted that Indias investment in Indonesia had increased from $ 11 million in 2007 to $ 44 million in 2010 and was growing further. Indonesia is Indias third largest trading partner in the Asian region.
Ghalib urged the states film makers to explore locales in the South-east Asian country and assured film producers that the Indonesian government was keen to facilitate film shooting. He also said that Indonesian film makers were too keen to collaborate with film producers from Punjab in making films on subjects that would further promote ties between the two countries. He also invited Punjabs farmers to settle down in Indonesia by entering into joint ventures in agriculture.
Industrialists from Punjab,Haryana and Himachal are likely to meet the Ambassador who will be in Chandigarh for three days. Representatives from different industrial bodies like CII,PHDCCI and Chandigarh Chamber of Commerce and Industry are also slated to meet the Ambassador.