On an upward trajectory

The UAE and Indonesia enjoy strong trade ties, with leaders from both countries planning a new economic cooperation

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Published: Tue 17 Aug 2021, 1:10 PM

Indonesia has the world's tenth largest economy and a combination of being the world's fourth most populous nation, and a member of the G20, has made it greatly appealing for foreign businesses, including the for UAE businesses. The UAE and Indonesia have a good relation in terms of economy, additionally, both countries having a predominantly Muslim population that creates a thriving business and trade environment.

According to the Indonesia Statistics Bureau (BPS), Indonesia's trade value to the UAE in 2020 was recorded at $2.9 billion. The UAE’s main export products to Indonesia are petroleum gas, semi-finished iron or steel, acyclic hydro, aluminium, polymers of propylene and ethylene, sulphur, crude petrol oil, gold and dates. While Indonesia’s main export products to the UAE are palm oil and its derivative products, jewellery, motor cars, electronic products, tubes and pipes from iron, paper and paperboard, soap, and garments. Indonesia’s total non-oil and gas export products were recorded at $1.24 billion and contributed to the non-oil and gas products balance surplus of $690.3 million.

Meanwhile, Indonesia's last position in trade value to the UAE in May recorded total non-oil and gas export products of $684.3 million, contributing to the non-oil and gas balance surplus of $400.8 million. There was a surge of 23.56 per cent compared to the same period in 2020 ($553.8 million). The increment of Indonesia’s export value was mainly due to conditions in 2020 when the Covid-19 pandemic began, when the UAE was locked down for two months. However, this year’s trade conditions with the UAE have started to return to normal, especially in the export of jewellery from Indonesia by airplane.

In this current situation, consumer goods such as spices, fresh fruit and vegetables are potential products that can enter the UAE market today. The export value of Indonesia’s spice products to the UAE in 2019 reached $18.32 million, which is only 2.68 per cent of the UAE’s total spice imports from the world. Meanwhile, the export value of Indonesia's fresh fruit products to the UAE in 2019 reached $20 million or around 0.84 per cent of the UAE's total fresh fruit imports from the world. Apart from those consumer goods, modest fashion also has a very good potential market in the UAE. Based on 'State of the Global Islamic Economy Report 2020/21' data, the UAE is among the top three of the modest fashion industries, ahead of Turkey and Indonesia.

The principal leaders of the two countries have also agreed to form an economic cooperation, which is expected to further improve economic relations between the two countries, especially in the trade sector, and it is planned to be launched later this month in Indonesia.

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