With thousands of Indonesian students going abroad every year for higher studies, the scope for university-level tie-ups is high for educational institutions in Coimbatore and Indonesia, said Saut Siringoringo, Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia.
Mr. Siringoringo told The Hindu here on Friday that many students of Indian origin are now pursuing higher studies in south India. Indonesian students also go to countries such as Japan and Australia. The possibility of a tie-up between Mumbai University and Symbiosis University with those in Indonesia is being worked out. “India should make use of this opportunity,” he said.
Another major area of focus for Indonesia is tourism. The number of tourists from India to Indonesia in 2016 was 3,80,000.
In 2015, it was 2,90, 000. “In two years, we want tourism to be our biggest industry. We got totally 10 million tourists last year. We want it to go up to 20 million in 2019,” he said. In this connection, there are efforts to have air connectivity with more Indian cities.
Bilateral trade between India and Indonesia reached 12.96 billion $ in 2016. India was now the third largest trade partner for Indonesia.
The main exports from Indonesia to India were coal and crude palm oil. “We want to diversify to more sectors,” he said.
Industries in south India can look at exporting agricultural products, textile machinery, and textiles.
“We import a lot of fabric from China,” he pointed out. “Business partnership between India and Indonesia in sectors such as finance, automotive and textiles must be increased and strengthened as both the countries have huge markets in those sectors,” he said.
The Indonesian Government is working on incentives, including tax incentives and lower gas prices, that will make the country a top exporter of textiles.
The Indonesian Textile Association suggested that the Government facilitate partnerships between the domestic industry and Indian textile machinery manufacturers.
Indonesian textile manufacturers also prefer to buy cotton from countries such as the U.S, Australia, and India. Hence, the potential for strengthening investments and trade between the two countries in textiles is huge, he said.
The 32nd TradExpo Indonesia will be held in Jakarta from October 11 to 15 and the details are available on www.tradexpoindonesia. com
On Friday evening, Mr. Siringoringo addressed the trade and industry here in a meeting organised by the Indian Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Coimbatore.