Industry Minister Airlangga Hartarto has said Indonesia will try to strengthen bilateral cooperation with the United States to boost trade between the two countries.
“For Indonesia, America is one of our strategic markets. Therefore, trade between the two countries should be increased,” Airlangga said in a statement after meeting with US Ambassador to Indonesia Joseph R. Donovan Jr. on Monday.
During the meeting, the minister said he was informed that the US government preferred to cooperate with countries through bilateral agreements.
The US is Indonesia’s third largest trading partner after China and Japan. The trade value from January to July last year reached US$13.2 billion, with Indonesian trade posting a surplus of $5.23 billion.
Airlangga said bilateral agreements between the two countries needed to be expanded because Indonesia wanted to increase textile exports to the country.
“Currently, the tariff on our textiles is 12.5 percent, while for Vietnamese textiles it is zero percent because the two countries have a bilateral agreement with one another,” he added.
Airlangga said US investors were expected to invest money in several industrial zones such as the Dumai zone in Riau, the Berau zone in East Kalimantan, the Gresik zone in East Java and the Kendal zone in Central Java. (bbn)