REPUBLIKA.CO.ID, ULAN BATOR - Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono asks Mongolian President Tsakhiagiin Elbegdorj to develop their bilateral cooperation on infrastructure to boost their low trade value. SBY convinced his counterpart that their bilateral cooperation had bright prospect, as reported by Nasihin Masha from Republika.
"Indonesia has a capacity to build infrastructure," SBY said on Thursday in his press conference after bilateral meeting with President Elbegdorj in Mongolia State Palace.
SBY offers infrastructure development and cooperation on trade and energy sectors to Mongolia. He said that Indonesia had developed infrastructure in some countries in Asia, Middle East, and Africa.
During his visit to Mongolia, President SBY brings along Indonesian entrepreneurs of Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry (Kadin) and Indonesian Young Entrepreneurs (HIPMI) to open opportunity in business to business contact and boost the investment.
With last year trade value between Indonesia and Mongolia in only six million USD, SBY considers it as too low. "In the same period, Indonesia-China trade value reaches 50 billion USD," he said.
In the other hands, Mongolian and Indonesian economy is growing. SBY encourages both entrepreneurs to strengthen trade and investment. As an example, Indonesia needs beef and Mongolia is a beef exporter.
For five years, Indonesian commodities are only oil and gas. SBY expects the export commodities to vary, such as instant noodle, biscuit, coffee, tea, rice, sugar, medicine, and veterinarian products as well as palm oil and mineral water.
A Mongolian entrepreneur said bilateral trade was still through third party. He hopes a direct trade instead of using third party system.
Meanwhile, the Head of Investment Coordinating Board (BKPM) M Chatib said there had not been any investment from Mongolia to Indonesia since 2000. It is a disappointing fact considering that both countries have begun trading relationship since 13th century.