Trade Minister Enggartiasto Lukita has expressed optimism about Indonesia’s ability to enter the Algerian market and other non-traditional markets as Indonesian products were in high demand during one-on-one business matching at the Indonesia-Algeria Business Forum in Algiers on Nov. 21.
At the event, 13 Indonesian companies sold their products to roughly 250 businesspeople from Algeria, Jordan, France, Tunisia, Turkey, Senegal and the Ivory Coast. Among the products were furniture, interior products, instant noodles, palm oil, car tires and jewelry, all of which posted potential trade of Rp 166 billion (US$11 million).
“I’m certain that we can improve our bilateral trade significantly if we seek positive and continual involvement of officials and businesspeople of the two countries,” Enggartiasto said during the opening of the business forum.
Enggartiasto was also encouraging cooperation and trade among Algerian and Indonesian businesspeople. African nations, he added, would always be the priority for greater cooperation and closer collaboration with Indonesia.
“The Indonesian government hopes for strong support from the businesspeople to improve the bilateral trade and investment to a higher level,” Enggartiasto added.
Algeria, located in a strategic location, is a potential target market for Indonesian products. The non-traditional market could also serve as a means for Indonesia to enter even larger markets. “Algeria is located in the intersection of three regions: Europe, the Middle East and Africa. That is among the many reasons why we’re bringing business delegates to Algeria. We want to partner up with Algeria to make the most of the strategic location of this country,” Enggartiasto explained.
Last month, Enggartiasto continued, the Trade Ministry held the biggest trade exhibition in Indonesia, Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI), in which 34 buyers from Algeria came and made a total of US$9.5 million worth of transactions. Popular Indonesian products among Algerian buyers were raw palm oil, coffee, furniture, cosmetics and herbs and spices.
The Trade Ministry’s director general of national export development, Arlinda, added that the trade mission program was particularly effective in export trade penetration. “The trade mission becomes a way of accelerating trade because Indonesian business players can directly meet their potential partners,” Arlinda said.
From the trade aspect, Indonesia exported $206.9 million in non-oil goods to Algeria in 2017. Meanwhile, Algeria exported oil and gas commodities to Indonesia for $312.8 million. The number, however, is still relatively small compared to the real potential of the two countries. Indonesia’s main export products to Algeria include palm oil, coffee, tuna, electronic devices and coconut oil.