From Aidoghie Paulinus, Abuja
Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria and Chairman, Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) in Abuja, Harry Purwanto, has lamented that Nigeria-Indonesia trade is fast declining.
Speaking during the commemoration of the 50 years establishment of ASEAN, a regional Southeast Asia body in Abuja, Purwanto said he was focussing more on the economic and trade relations aspects of the Nigeria-Indonesia bilateral ties.
According to Purwanto, “these two areas can bring something concrete to help the potential of the two countries because Indonesia and Nigeria share many commonalities.”
Purwanto continued: “The current volume of trade, I am talking about last year, we do have $1.4 billion. But actually, it is going down from $3.9 billion in 2014 because of the price of oil. We bought a lot of oil from Nigeria,” he said.
While saying that the current volume of trade is more in favour of Nigeria, the Indonesia envoy noted that his country’s businesses in Nigeria were mainly pharmaceutical products, consumer products, foods, electrical appliances, tyres and automotive parts, including Indomie, an Indonesia company.
On the ASEAN 50th year anniversary, Purwanto said the ASEAN Abuja Committee was established in 2012 to share ASEAN experiences, to raise visibility, as well as to establish closer relationship with Nigeria.
Purwanto stated: “The ASEAN Abuja Committee, collectively through the chairperson that rotates every six months, makes a presentation to the government of the country upon directions of the ASEAN Standing Committee.
“Today, we celebrate the 50th year anniversary of ASEAN, a regional organisation that was able to transform Southeast Asia that used to be a region of conflict into a region of development.”
Formed on August 8, 1967, ASEAN countries consist of 10 nations, with five (Indonesia, Malaysia, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam) represented in Abuja.