Vladivostok, Russia - The Republic of Indonesia has voiced interest in collaborating with Brunei Darussalam on a much deeper level paying particular attention in the fields of trade and investment.
In an interview with the Borneo Bulletin yesterday, on the sidelines of the APEC Ministerial Meeting, Indonesia's Trade Minister Gita Wirjawan said more could still be done between both nations and must focus on being more "result oriented".
"We are not trading with each other as much as I think we should," he observed, emphasising that it "doesn't necessarily mean our communication is not good" but rather is the opposite.
Indonesia's relationship with Brunei Darussalam, particularly with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade, "is very, very good and we'd like to capitalise on this more for better things to come", said Mr Wirjawan.
However, "the focus has not been as much as we want it to be, mutually, for Brunei to focus on Indonesia and for Indonesia to focus on Brunei as an investment destination but we will be more than happy to look into it", thus signifying Indonesia's enthusiasm to work with the Sultanate.
"Brunei is a capital holder, a capital exporter and also a capital destination. Indonesia has rebounded economically and has surpassed the $1 trillion mark in terms of its Gross Domestic Product and it has some ability to export capital to places like Brunei.
"We just need to figure out a structure within which we can cooperate more specifically on trade and investment", which he described as being the "two obvious low hanging fruits". Brunei's investment in Indonesia thus far, he added, is concentrated mostly in real estate and that "we definitely would like for Brunei to participate more proactively in any area that helps us climb up the value chain".
Taking into consideration that Brunei is to host the Association of Southeast Asian meetings next year, Mr Wirjawan said that the gathering will provide both nations the opportunity to sit down and discuss this potentially immense partnership.
Brunei's hosting of the gathering, he said, is "fantastic".
"We are excited to go back to Brunei," he said adding that talks with Brunei's Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade has revealed that the event is anticipated to take place in either late February or early March. "It would be good for us to help in any way possible for Brunei's successful undertaking of the chairmanship as we did in 2011."--Courtesy of Borneo Bulletin