(Yicai Global) May 8 -- China is encouraging its firms to increase imports of palm oil and other Indonesian products and welcomes Indonesian participation in the first China International Import Expo in an effort to narrow the trade deficit between the two nations, their governments said on the last day of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang's official visit to the Southeast Asian country.
The two countries will continue to work closely in key areas such as trade, infrastructure, manufacturing, finance, and support partnerships in emerging fields such as e-commerce and the internet economy, according to a joint statement published on the Chinese foreign ministry's website today. The countries will also promote the use of local currency for bilateral trade, it added.
China was Indonesia's largest export destination with CNY146.4 billion (USD23 billion) worth of goods last year, but also had the widest trade deficit at CNY80.8 billion with the country, according to trade data website World's Top Exports.
China and Indonesia are pleased to see increased cooperation in infrastructure under China's Belt and Road initiative and Indonesia's Global Maritime Fulcrum vision, and will continue to push the construction of the Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway and discuss cooperation in building the island nation's regional economic corridor in its four northern provinces, the statement said.
"China will support Indonesia in building regional economic corridors and upgrading its infrastructure and industrial development to make the maritime bond between the two countries even stronger,” Li wrote in an article titled 'Embarking on a New Voyage of China-Indonesia Friendly Cooperation.' It was published in the Jakarta Post, a leading Indonesian newspaper, on May 5.
Li traveled to Indonesia on May 6 to pay a three-day official visit, which is his first overseas trip since being re-elected as premier in March. The first China International Import Expo, a 6-day trade fair that gathers exhibitors from around the globe in the world's second-biggest economy, will be held in Shanghai in November.
The 142-kilometer Jakarta-Bandung high-speed railway project was awarded to China Railway Corp. in 2015, but it has faced delays due to various problems such as local land ownership, delaying its completion from the original target of 2019.
Indonesian President Joko 'Jokowi' Widodo announced his maritime infrastructure development plan Global Maritime Fulcrum at the 2014 East Asia Summit. This maritime doctrine has five main pillars that include objectives related to enhancing economics, security, and development.
Editors: Emmi Laine