PESHAWAR  - The economic and trade ties between Pakistan and Indonesia have entered into a new phase of development as both the countries have finalized Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) in September 2011 and this development is expected to raise bilateral trade between corporate sectors of two brotherly countries.

These views were expressed by Ishaq Latucosian, Ambassador of Indonesia, while talking with business community during his visit to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chamber of Commerce and Industry (KPCCI) here on Thursday. President KPCCI Afan Aziz, prominent industrialists including Malik Niaz, Riaz Arsahad, Zulfiqar Ali and other office bearers of KPCCI were present on the occasion.

Talking to businessmen, Ambassador Ishaq Latucosian said signing of PTA by Pakistan and Indonesia is expected this month (January) which will lead to Free Trade Agreement (FTA) between the two countries. The FTA, he continued, will enhance the share of Pakistan in terms of exports to Indonesia and give greater market access to both sides. Indonesian envoy said the recent development in regard with enhancing trade relations between Pakistan and Indonesia are result of consistent efforts from both sides. There is a new wave of interest in the business community of both the countries to explore new line of business and to establish long-term trade relations.

The other important development in 2011 is the launching of the Pakistan-Indonesia Business Forum (PIBF) in Karachi with the objective of providing a platform to the business communities of the two countries for enhancing bilateral trade linkages and exploring the opportunities of close cooperation.

Ishaq Latucosian expressed the hope that these positive developments will facilitate cooperate sectors of the two countries considerably and accelerate the momentum of trade activities. He also appreciated the courage and sacrifices offered by the brave people of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in the defence of the country against terrorism.

 The role played by business community of the KP is also commendable, he added.

He said Indonesia will continue to provide an attractive business environment to the Pakistani companies to invest in all the sectors. To attain these objectives, there should be frequent exchange of trade delegations and free flow of trade related information between the two countries. Indonesian envoy also extended invitation to all the members of KPCCI, to visit the annual Trade Expo in Indonesia which will be held in Jakarta in October 2012.

Earlier, President KPCCI, in his welcome address, said zero rated duty regime could be established between the two countries after signing of FTA. He said the business community of KP can offer cement, match, textile spinning sector, fresh fruit, furniture, pharmaceutical, cooking oil, gemstones, marble and granite to Indonesia. Similarly, in return we need palm oil in Pakistan. He also suggested exchange of entrepreneur delegation to assess what the two trading partners could import and export to each other.

Other members present on the occasion, offered Indonesian envoy to utilize geographical importance of KP for tapping the market of Central Asian Countries.

Later, President KPCCI and Indonesian exchange mementos among each other.