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The Warsaw Voice » Business » February 20, 2008
International trade
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First Indonesian Expo in Warsaw
February 20, 2008   
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More than 1,000 Indonesian businesspeople are set to come to Poland for the first Indonesian Expo in Central and Eastern Europe (IE-CEE) to be held in Warsaw, May 7-10.

Called Bridging the Distance, the event will be Indonesia's main export and investment promotion program in Europe as part of the country's national action plan for 2008-2012.

At a press conference at the Polish Information and Foreign Investment Agency (PAIiIZ), Feb. 12, Indonesia's ambassador to Poland Hazairin Pohan said, "My government is committed to making the first IE-CEE in Warsaw the country's showcase and to demonstrate that the new Indonesia is a reliable partner on European markets. A lot has changed in the European landscape during the past decade, including the emergence of serious competitors from Asia and the Pacific region."

Pohan said that the first IE-CEE would be the largest and most comprehensive Indonesian exposition of trade, investment and tourism in a foreign country in 2008 and would be an excellent opportunity for Indonesia to display its best products and services in trade, investment and tourism from more than 1,000 top Indonesian companies. There will also be cultural performances of traditional music, dances, as well as Indonesian cuisine.

The exhibition is a joint effort by 26 Indonesian ambassadors in Europe to bring their business community to Warsaw. It is expected that about 5,000 buyers at the distributor level from all over Europe, as well as those from the Commonwealth of Independent States and North Africa, will come to Warsaw.

Indonesia chose Warsaw to showcase the Indonesian government's program for 2008-2012 because Poland is a reliable partner for Indonesia, the largest country in Central European region with a strong economic infrastructure and nearly 40 million people, a member of the European Union and has 5-6 percent GDP growth.

Trade between Indonesia and Poland, worth some $600 million in 2007, "has put Poland as our biggest export destination among all of the Central European countries," said Pohan. He added that Poland was perfect as an entry point to all European countries, with their market of 580 million people.

Indonesia has a population of 250 million and is the largest economy of the ASEAN countries with 6-7 percent GDP growth and a rapidly developing economy. The southeast Asian country, with huge natural as well as human resources, is predicted to take the economic lead of the Asian and Pacific countries.

PAIiIZ President Paweł Wojciechowski said that increasing trade contacts with Indonesia had produced growth in trade last year and that PAIiIZ would assist Indonesian businesspeople, especially those interested in IT-based investment in Poland and to promote investment cooperation between the two countries.

Trade between Indonesia and Poland was worth $600 million in 2007. Indonesian exports were more than double that of Poland and totaled $450 million, while Poland strengthened its import share to Indonesia to $150 million.

Pohan said he expected several Indonesian government ministers to take part in the IE-CEE exhibition, including ministers for trade, culture and tourism, industry and for cooperatives and SMEs. The IE-CEE is part of a strategic ongoing program to strengthen Indonesia's share of European markets, as well as to promote opportunities to offer the best investment projects and tourist destinations. Important official visits to Poland are planned for this year, including a possible state visit by President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono and by the Indonesian foreign minister.

The Indonesian government is working on expanding the bilateral links with Poland based on newly signed agreements on defense, culture and education, combating terrorism and organized crime, and political consultations. There are good prospects for signing new agreements on economic cooperation, visa-free regimes, and diplomatic training.

Jolanta Wolska
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