MANAMA: Trade between Bahrain and Indonesia has seen a positive development, with an increase from about $39 million in 2009 to more than $140m in 2011.
On the other hand, Bahrain's exports to Indonesia have also witnessed a notable increase from $5m in 2009 to almost $93m in 2011, Industry and Commerce Minister Dr Hassan Fakhro announced yesterday.
He was speaking at the opening of a key seminar on 'Exploring Opportunities and Investment' between the two countries at the Sheraton Hotel yesterday.
"This shows the growing importance of the Indonesian market for trade and our future endeavours," he said.
Dr Fakhro confirmed that the significant development between the two countries would also open new avenues for mutual co-operation.
"Our main objectives are attaining a knowledge-based economy for creative innovation, enhanced productivity, market competitiveness, and for sustainability, and these are but many of the range of possibilities for our joint co-operation," he said.
"Mutual areas of interest may also cover hi-tech options in the industrial sector, and enhanced development of small and medium enterprises.
"Food security is particularly important to our country - commodities that Indonesia is blessed with, supplies and regional and international trading and distribution logistics," he added.
The minister stressed to not overlook the service sectors, including health, education, and especially financial services.
"More recently, the 2012/13 Global Free Zones of the Future Top 50 rankings, released by Foreign Direct Investment Magazine, has included four Bahraini zones, namely, Bahrain International Investment Park, Khalifa Bin Salman Port, Bahrain International Airport and Bahrain Logistics Zone," he added.
"Such recognition shows how far Bahrain has gone in establishing its distinguished regional supply chain logistics infrastructure."
He confirmed that the Indonesian delegation's visit to Bahrain was a positive signal for the respective private sectors, for forging closer ties with their counterparts, with a view to creating deeper understanding of business environment, and highlighting potential areas for further beneficial gains.
"The official establishment of the Indonesian Embassy in Bahrain in December 2010 reflected the view of the Indonesia government on the importance of strengthening bilateral relations between the two countries," said Indonesian Ambassador Chilman Arisman.
"The need to further develop bilateral co-operation is imperative considering the vast potential that both countries could offer, particularly in the economic sector.
"This seminar on Indonesia-Bahrain is timely and reaffirms the importance to further explore co-operation in the field of trade and investment," he added.