LAHORE - Ambassador of Republic of Indonesia Ishaq Latuconsina has said delay in signing of Preferential Trade Agreement is hitting the two-way trade between Pakistan and Indonesia and both the countries would have to adopt out-of-the-box methodologies to harness the trade and business potential in the two countries and to increase bilateral trade. The Ambassador was speaking at the Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on Friday. LCCI President Shahzad Ali Malik, Senior Vice President Sheikh Mohammad Arshad, EC Member Mian Zahid Javaid and Chairman Skill Development Council Rehmatullah Javed also spoke on the occasion. The Ambassador also stressed the need for exchange of subject specialists and sector specific experts so that both the countries could be able to learn more and more from each others experiences. Mr Ishaq Latuconsina said that sharing of experiences had no match when we talk of any specific product or trade with any country so Pakistan and Indonesia must share their experiences in the larger interests of the business communities in the two countries. He said that the Pakistani businessmen in general and the LCCI members in particular should participate in International exhibition scheduled for October this year to expedite business relations between the two sides as Indonesian market is not very much familiar with Pakistani merchandise. He also urged the LCCI President to arrange a delegation for another exhibition of autoparts being held from March 21 to March 23 as the exhibition would help bring the autoparts manufacturers closer. The Ambassador said that it was very encouraging that in the year 2010 as many as 230 businessmen from Lahore visited Indonesia as compared to 110 in 2009. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI President Shahzad Ali Malik said that Pakistan and Indonesia are the two most populous countries of Muslim Ummah. These two countries together have a population of over 410 million and constitute about 25% of the total Muslim population of the world. Both the countries are bonded together by old historical links and enjoy cordial relations based on commonality of religion. The LCCI President said that although the trade between Pakistan and Indonesia has been gradually growing but it is still at a very low level in view of the size of the markets of the two countries. He said that Pakistans trade deficit with Indonesia had increased owing to a faster increase in imports from Indonesia compared with exports to Indonesia. Indonesias import from Pakistan need to be increased to create a win win situation for both the countries. Shahzad Ali Malik said that a lot of progress could be made on trade front through identification of new tradable items between the two countries. To cater to the requirements of Pakistani market, rubber, rubber products, accessories of motor vehicles could be exported by Indonesia, whereas Pakistan has a comparative advantage in textile, surgical instruments, leather products, sports goods, some fruits, vegetables & rice etc., which can be exported to Indonesia on a larger scale. And, he said, this goal could be achieved through active engagement of the Chambers of Commerce & Industry of the two countries, frequent exchange of economic and trade delegations to identify the areas of mutual interest, arranging of single country exhibitions and socio-cultural programs in each others country. The establishment of a joint business forum comprising representatives of Chambers of Commerce & Industry of the two countries with enhanced business-to-business contacts could be helpful in giving much-needed boost to the bilateral trade.