KBRI Kabul – Indonesia and Afghanistan have long history of diplomatic relations which officially started since 1955 when the Treaty of Friendship was signed in Bandung, West Java. The good relations between two countries politically, should be aligned with the improvement of relations in social, cultural and economy.
Trade relations between Indonesia and Afghanistan has been established since long time ago, yet Indonesia's export value to Afghanistan is comparatively low to any other export destinations in the region, such as Iran, Pakistan, and India. Moreover, Afghanistan's import value from Indonesia is also relatively low to any import origin countries in ASEAN region such as Malaysia and Thailand.
There are some issues still impede the improvement of trade and industrial cooperation between two countries for instance the lack of interaction and adequate information on each's trade, industry and market potentials, no bank correspondence cooperation, complicated transportation routes which need to pass third country like Iran and Pakistan, as well as the lack of trade and industrial promotion between two countries.
As one of effort to improve trade and industrial cooperation, Indonesian Embassy in Kabul continuously undertakes strategic steps by approaching concerned-related parties in Afghanistan, either from government or private.
In line with that, on 28th May 2018, Ambassador of Indonesia to Afghanistan, H.E. DR. Arief Rachman MD., had a meeting with Minister of Commerce and Industry of Afghanistan, H.E. Mr. Humayoon Rasaw, to discuss several important issues in improving trade and industrial cooperation between two countries.
On that meeting, the Minister explained that Afghanistan's export value is reasonably low, including to Indonesia and around 90% of national needs for any products in Afghanistan fulfilled by importing goods from other countries. In this case, the Minister hoped that Indonesian government could help and assist Afghanistan to improve their national production's capacity. He sees Indonesia as one of major exporting country where in 2017 its export value reached USD168.73 billion.
Minister conveyed his initiative to establish joint venture cooperation between companies oin Indonesia and Afghanistan, especially in the field of palm oil production, refinery and packaging. He hoped that the cooperation would encourage transfer of technology and knowledge on palm processing into vegetable oil. In response, Indonesia sincerely welcomed the request from Afghanistan government to boost their national production's capacity, particularly in palm oil processing, and promised to forward the request and make coordination with related parties in Indonesia.
Furthermore, to enhance trade and industrial promotion between two countries, the Minister suggested an initiative to establish promotion center for each countries' products in Indonesia and Afghanistan.
Both Indonesia and Afghanistan governments agreed that initially they need to facilitate talks and discussions between ministries. In this regard, Indonesian Embassy in Kabul would arrange visits and meetings between ministries' officials to discuss some key issues of trade and industrial cooperation. Both sides hoped that these meetings would develop an agreement between the ministries which later could be used as a platform for better cooperation in future.