In a statement to Gulf Times, IQBC president Hendra Hartono Turman stressed that the council formed six committees that would enhance Indonesia-Qatar relations in the areas of investment, digital and creative economy, MSMEs, sports, trade, and education.
“For 2023, we will strive to continue achieving significant accomplishments in these six areas. Communication efforts can be made both online and offline. As the situation becomes conducive, we will seek direct visits to Qatar at least twice a year with a business delegation,” Turman pointed out.
Turman explained that the goals of the committees were thoroughly discussed and finalised during one of the council’s online seminars held last year.
“In 2022, IQBC has carried out several online activities, including business matching and seminars. One of the B2B meetings was followed up with direct visits to Qatar by Indonesian companies specialising in paper, tyre, food, construction and building, and other support services for the 2022 FIFA World Cup.
“The committees communicated directly with the Qatari side and it is hoped that each of them can benefit the two countries. This progress will continue for 2023 after the implementation of the FIFA World Cup,” he said.
Turman’s Qatari counterpart, Qatar-Indonesia Business Council (QIBC) president Farhan al-Sayed, emphasised that the World Cup helped boost Qatar-Indonesia trade volume, which stood at almost “$1bn” in 2022, and reinforced Qatar’s status as a “most sought out investment destination.”
Al-Sayed said: “Qatar-Indonesia trade is expected to grow further in 2023 in both the hydrocarbon and non-hydrocarbon sectors. Qatar has invested heavily in Indonesia’s telecom, energy, banking, hospitality, and tourism industries.”
He added: “Indonesian connectivity in trade and culture will trigger growth in 2023 as both nations will be celebrating Qatar-Indonesia 2023 Year of Culture. Indonesia and the Indonesian embassy will be hosting many cultural and also business activities during the year.
“Several large business delegations are lining up to visit Qatar to offer investment opportunities in Indonesia. I am also encouraging investors to invest in Qatar’s free zones.”
According to Turman, Indonesia is also looking at forging investment partnerships with companies in Qatar in the field of agriculture, the creative economy, and other areas of trade and business.
“We also wish to be able to participate in the development of the bonded zone, which is being worked on by the Qatari government. Indonesian companies are interested in being able to open a factory in Doha that would cater to the Middle East market,” Turman said.
He added: “We will also invite tourists from Qatar to visit and enjoy the beauty and culture of Indonesia, including the Cirebon culture, which is rich in art and history. The Cirebon kingdom still exists today.
“2023 is the year of Indonesian culture in Qatar. For this reason, IQBC will participate in preparing a cultural delegation, as well as in the creative economy. We hope to see more visits and cultural exchanges this year and that trade between Indonesia and Qatar could return to pre-pandemic levels.”