ON BOARD PM'S SPECIAL AIRCRAFT: Having invested close to $ 15 billion in Indonesia, Indian firms have lined up further $ 15-16 billion investments for the South East Asian nation and the two countries have agreed to cooperate in new sectors like film production.
"Indian investments in Indonesia are in the range of $ 12-15 billion... Another $ 15-16 billion is in the pipeline. That will take the total Indian investments in Indonesia to $ 26-31 billion," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said today.
Briefing media while returning after a two-day visit of an Indian delegation led by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to Indonesia, Sharma said that the two countries have agreed to expand their cooperation in new sectors like film production.
"We have agreed to work together not only for the joint production, but also make available our film institutes and the animation studios to Indonesian entities.
"We would also like greater participation by the Indonesian companies. It is a growingeconomy and has rich resources many of which India needs for its own growth," the Minister said.
The Indian delegation also included External Affairs Minister Salman Khurshid.
Sharma said the two countries have set up CEO forums, joint working groups and other forums for further expansion of their economic ties.
"India has become integral to the larger economic integration process of the Asia Pacific region. India's trade with ASEAN and its five partners at EAS (East Asia Summit) has reached $ 200 billion.
"Our investments in this region have crossed $ 70 billion and there is further $ 30 billion worth committed investments in the pipeline," he added.
Before his Indonesia visit, Prime Minister was in Brunei Darussalam for attending ASEAN (Association of South East Asian Nations) and East Asia Summits.
The East Asia Summit is a forum for cooperation among the ten-member ASEAN block with its six partner countries including India, China, Japan, South Korea, Australia and the US.
The ten ASEAN members include Indonesia, Brunei, Singapore, Malaysia, the Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.
Sharma said a new FTA in services and investments with ASEAN is expected to be signed in December and this would further expand India's relationship with ASEAN to a Comprehensive Economic Cooperation Agreement.
Sharma also attended an India-Indonesia CEO forum meeting in Indonesia on October 10.
"The CEO forum is identifying the areas of cooperation, which includes oil and gas, coal mining, agriculture, life sciences, manufacturing, vocational training.
"We are also looking at larger cooperation in services sector, including IT and setting up of institutes, communications, financial services, railway and other transport services, connectivity, civil aviation sector," he added.
Khurshid said there is a very strong convergence between India and Indonesia on issues of great importance to both countries such as negotiations at WTO and counter-terrorism.
"(In) WTO particularly, our concerns are very much shared by Indonesia as both are populous country. We are very pleased to hear from Indonesia that they desire to collaborate with us on food security at WTO to find an acceptance of this issues along with other trade matters," he said.
According to him, both sides have agreed to hold annual summits and the next meeting may take place in February.
"A lot of traction now we see taking place and we have a close working collaboration between India and Indonesia... Even as WTO continues to move forward at a steady but slow speed, there are emergence of other regional arrangements to which there are both opportunities and challenges for India," the Minister said.