Indonesia and Somalia have agreed to intensify trade ties during a bilateral meeting between Indonesian Foreign Minister Retno Marsudi and Somalian Vice Foreign Minister Mukhtar Mahat Da`ud here on Wednesday. “I have just held bilateral talks with the Somalian vice foreign minister. We spoke about trade ties,” Marsudi remarked following the meeting held on the sidelines of the second day of the Indonesia-Africa Forum (IAF).
Marsudi noted that trade between the two countries, which has grown on an average of 30 percent per year, can still be increased. In 2017, bilateral trade jumped by 80 percent as compared to the previous year, she stated. “Hence, at the meeting, we agreed to encourage the private sectors of the two countries to forge more contacts,” she remarked.
At the meeting, the two sides also explored possibilities for cooperation in infrastructure development. “We are pursuing the development of infrastructure, including roads and ports, as one of the priorities. Right now, we are in the process of developing ports, but we are focusing our expertise on designing the ports,” she explained.
“Hence, this is a joint effort of several countries to cooperate with Somalia in developing its ports,” she noted. Meanwhile, Da`ud expressed hope that Indonesian investors would invest in the fisheries and agriculture sectors in Somalia. Indonesia has vowed to enhance relations with African countries, particularly in the economic field, by holding the IAF from April 10 to 11.