TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Indonesian Foreign Ministry spokesman Arrmanatha Nasir said that Indonesia and Hong Kong will step up economic cooperation, particularly investment. “Hong Kong is one of the largest economic hubs in the region. We also wish to improve connectivity,” he said, as quoted by Antara yesterday, April 25, 2017.
He explained that Indonesian President Joko Widodo, also known as Jokowi, will be paying a state visit to Hong Kong from April 30 to May 1, 2017, to improve bilateral economic cooperation.
According to Arrmanatha, President Jokowi will discuss economic issues during his visit. “We will woo Hong Kong investors to invest in Indonesia, particularly in infrastructure [projects].”
Cooperation in the creative industry and trade will also be discussed in the meeting. “The accelerated negotiation of Hong Kong-ASEAN Free Trade Agreement is expected to enhance trade ties between the two regions,” Arrmanatha said.
Hong Kong’s investment in Indonesia in 2016 reached US$2.25 billion and the trade volume between Indonesia and Hong Kong surged from US$3.8 billion to US$3.9 billion last year.
Another issue to be discussed during Jokowi’s visit is protection for Indonesian migrant workers. The Foreign Ministry reports that 172,000 Indonesians are currently working in Hong Kong.
Earlier, Indonesia’s trade surplus in March 2017 slipped to US$1.23 billion. The figure is lower compared to that of February 2017 at US$1.26 billion. Bank Indonesia communication department executive director Tirta Segara last week said that despite a month-over-month decrease, the figure is higher compared to that of March 2016.