INEW YORK-- Indonesia have agreed to enhance economic cooperation with Croatia and Namibia, the Indonesian Foreign Ministry said in a press statement.

"Indonesia and Croatia are determined to strengthen economic cooperation as they mark the 25th anniversary of diplomatic ties this year," Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi stated, following a bilateral meeting with her Croatian counterpart, Marija Pejic Novi Buri, on the sidelines of the 72nd UN General Assembly in New York.

This is the first meeting between the two ministers since Marija was inaugurated as the Croatian foreign minister.

The two ministers further underscored the need for the two countries to enhance cooperation in the fields of trade, investment, education, and social and cultural affairs.

"The ways to increase trade include tapping potential trade commodities, facilitating meetings between businessmen of the two countries, and increasing participation in trade promotion," Marsudi noted.

She warmly welcomed Croatia's offer to become a gateway for Indonesian commodities to the European Union market.

In this regard, she extended an invitation to Croatian business people to take part in Trade Expo Indonesia 2017 to be held in the BSD City on Oct 10-15.

Croatia is Indonesia's 7th largest trade partner in East and Southeast Europe. Trade between the two countries totaled US$62.88 million in 2016, with Indonesia recording a surplus of $35.3 million.

Last year, the number of Croatian tourists visiting Indonesia reached 2,504. Currently, 51 Indonesians stay in Croatia.

Separately, Marsudi held a bilateral meeting with her Namibian counterpart Netumbo Nandi-Ndiatwah, and the two ministers agreed to intensify cooperation to boost bilateral trade.

"Indonesia will increase its economic cooperation with Namibia, including those under the Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) between Indonesia and the Southern African Customs Union (SACU)," she said.

The two ministers held the bilateral meeting on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly in New York on Monday.

Both countries have agreed to enhance bilateral trade, Marsudi stated.

The PTA between Indonesia and SACU is expected to reduce tariff and boost bilateral trade. Hence, Indonesia is expecting support from Namibia, as a member of SACU, for its PTA proposal.

Furthermore, the minister has conveyed the importance of exchange visits of businessmen of the two countries and has invited them to join the trade exhibitions in both nations.

"I have invited Namibia to participate in our events, such as the Trade Expo 2017 in Jakarta and Indonesia-Africa Forum in Bali in April 2018," Marsudi remarked.

Bilateral trade between Indonesia and Namibia in 2016 had reached US$4.01 million and shown an increasing trend of 0.42 percent during the past five years.

Indonesia's main exports to Namibia comprise paper, soap, canned fish, furniture, and tires, among others.

Indonesia will also offer strategic products, such as aircraft, ships, and locomotives.


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