The visiting Minister for Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Indonesia, Mrs Retno Marsudi, has announced her government’s growing interest in promoting mutually beneficial economic relations with Nigeria.
Marsudi, who led a Delegation to an Indonesia-Nigeria Business Forum in Lagos, said that there had been a decline in bilateral trade between both countries in the last five years.
“Nigeria and Indonesia are currently among the four countries that have the quality for strong growth and provide high returns for investors.
“But, the value of our bilateral trade between 2012 and 2016 is on the decline.
“This decline is taking place, despite the fact that our two countries are the largest and most growing economies in our continents.
“I came to Nigeria with one intention, and that is how best Nigeria and Indonesia should strengthen their economic cooperation. We want closer economic ties with Nigeria,’’ she said.
Marsudi said that her government was prepared to enhance its economic relations with African countries, especially with Nigeria, in the years ahead.
According to her, Nigeria and Indonesia currently have the resources and energies to enhance their areas of cooperation.
She also said that it was imperative for both countries to transform their political and economic relations to one that was mutually beneficial.
The minister also disclosed her government’s plan to create the enabling environment for smooth business and Investments between Nigerians and Indonesians.
The Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, Mr Harry Purwanto, said that the time had come for both countries to work together in promoting initiatives that would bring prosperity to their people.
Purwanto said that what Nigeria and Indonesia urgently needed, was enhanced and balanced economic relations.
“As the Indonesian Ambassador to Nigeria, i attach great importance to people-to-people interactions to make our relations mutually beneficial.
“We need to have more enhanced and balanced economic relations,’’ he said.
The Ambassador, who said that Nigeria was a good place for business and Investment, added that the minister and her delegation were in Lagos, to deepen trade between both countries.
The Acting Director General of NAFDAC, Mrs Yetunde Oni, who described Nigeria as a “valuable partner’’ to Indonesia, said that Nigeria looked forward to more Indonesian companies in Nigeria.
Oni, however, said that it was imperative for Indonesian companies to be conscious of NAFDAC’s regulations and control laws.
She added that her agency was involved in promoting the Federal Government of Nigeria’s Ease of Doing Business in Nigeria.