Indonesia’s representative office in Taipei yesterday said that it wants to boost bilateral trade with Taiwan as it invited local businesses to attend the online opening ceremony of Indonesia’s largest annual trade event.
The 36th Trade Expo Indonesia (TEI), which is to run virtually until Dec. 20, seeks to foster business networks and showcase Indonesian products, Indonesian President Joko Widodo told the ceremony.
“We are grateful that the [COVID-19] pandemic situation is [now] under control in Indonesia, that’s why it is very important that Indonesia’s global trade needs to be revived,” Widodo said. “We are open to all cooperation, trade and investment with our trading partners that enhances our human capacity.”
The expo, said to be the biggest annual international business exhibition in Indonesia, is being held online for the second consecutive year due to pandemic restrictions.
People around the world, including in Taiwan, can register to attend the event virtually.
Indonesian Economic and Trade Office to Taipei (IETO) head Budi Santoso said that prior to the pandemic, importers from around the globe attended the event in Jakarta.
Concerned about the reluctance of importers to participate in a virtual exhibition because of the challenges posed by language differences, the office is offering services to help Taiwanese navigate products and meet business partners in Indonesia with a “Mini TEI” at the Indonesia Exhibition Center at the Taipei World Trade Center Exhibition Hall 1 in Xinyi District (信義).
“In response, IETO Taipei, Indonesia’s representative in Taipei, is trying to present a Mini TEI where all of you will be personally accompanied by our staff to explore Indonesian products virtually and, when necessary, help you communicate with exporters in Indonesia,” Budi said.
Attendees are treated to a range of authentic Indonesian food, including satay skewers and gado-gado salad.
Meanwhile, Kevin Lin (林宜良), vice president of ELOM Trade Co, which operates as ASEAN VIP International Trading Co (億瓏貿易), received the Primaduta award, which is presented by the Indonesian government to foreign firms that import Indonesian products.
Lin’s company, which imports daily necessities such as groceries, was one of 25 selected from 330 nominated by Indonesian trade offices around the world.
ASEAN VIP International is the first Taiwanese company to win the award.
The company imported US$7.745 million of Indonesian goods last year and has helped small and medium-sized enterprises in Indonesia with packaging design so that their products are more competitive on the international market, IETO trade analyst Muhammad Fuad Hamzah told reporters.
“The award is not just based on numbers or the volume of trade, it also takes into account the human-interest story of companies and their contribution to Indonesian small and medium enterprises,” Fuad said.
The company has imported goods from Southeast Asia for about 30 years, originally driven by the idea of sourcing daily necessities and items used by Taiwan’s many migrant workers, Lin said.
“Many Indonesian small and medium-sized enterprises also want to expand into overseas markets, but might not have the connections to help them, when actually their products are of good quality,” Lin said.
Indonesia is Taiwan’s 14th-largest trading partner, with more than US$5.39 billion in imports from Taiwan and US$2.17 billion in exports from January to last month, Bureau of Foreign Trade data showed.
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