Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). Finally, he found the place, which he liked the most and which according to him, can actually work towards reaffirming the economic, cultural and social relations between the two countries. The place is heart of India – the northern state of Uttar Pradesh. Lt Gen Ghalib was on a four day visit to Uttar Pradesh. Read more
"Uttar Pradesh has the desired potential with its highly skilled man power, good educational institutes and a large number of professionals with latest technical knowhow," said the Ambassador.
He detailed how both India and Indonesia were the only nations, which are constantly moving forward despite a global financial crisis. The gross domestic product graph of these nations has stayed northwards.
The Ambassador has laid red carpet for the industries to expand their businesses in Indonesia, "There is no need for the Indian exporters to go to faraway places like the US or the Europe. You need market we give you a big market." Indonesia is the biggest economy in the ASEAN and the third biggest market in Asia after India and China.
A few sectors like, sugar industry, power, automotives, medicine, education have large scope for the Indian companies to open shops there. The land is cheap as one Indian Rupee equals to 200 Indonesian Rupiah.
Indonesia is offering equal opportunities to industrial houses of India to expand their businesses in the neighbouring nation. "Earlier, it was tough for the foreign companies to set up their industries in Indonesia but now the rules and regulations are the same for domestic as well as foreign investors," he said. The foreign companies get 60 percent equity in their business in Indonesia. Big companies like Bajaj, State Bank of India, Tata and Essar are already established in Indonesia. Negotiations are on with majors like Reliance.
Bilateral trade between the two countries has gone up from USD 4 billion (2005) to 10 billion (2009) and now the nation targets to make it reach USD 20 billion by 2020.
The Ambassador stressed on long relations between the two countries. "You will find reflections of Ramayana and Mahabharata in our society and at the same time also find the impressions of Bollywood films," said Lt Gen Andy.
It was in 1951 when the Indonesian President became the Chief Guest at the Indian Republic Day parade in New Delhi. To commemorate sixty years of this friendship of these two nations, once again the current Indonesian President will be in New Delhi as the Chief Guest at the Republic Day parade on January 26, next year.
(The author is a senior journalist based in Lucknow, India)
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