WINDHOEK: Trade volumes between Namibia and Indonesia decreased by 60 per cent last year, Indonesian Ambassador Agustinus Sumartono said on Wednesday.
Sumartono said trade of N.dollars 27,5 million between the two countries was recorded in 2011, compared to N.dollars 70 million recorded in 2010.
He made the announcement when he paid a courtesy call on Minister of Trade and Industry Dr Hage Geingob on Wednesday.
The ambassador explained that the decrease in trade volumes was partly due to a relatively small number of business interactions between the two countries, as well as a lack of knowledge of the other country’s potential.
Other suspected causes include the growing competition from other foreign business people in Namibia, notably from China, Brazil, India and the European Union (EU).
Sumartono further noted that another problem is that Indonesia and Namibia do not have a trade agreement on the reciprocal promotion and protection of investments.
“This contributes significantly to price competitiveness of Indonesian export commodities in Namibia, and vice versa,” the diplomat said.
He stated that there is a need for more promotions on economic, trade and investment potential in both countries.
Both sides can exchange information related to trade fairs, participation in trade missions or exhibition activities, the ambassador added.
In return, Geingob called on Indonesian business people to invest in Namibia.
“Come and put up businesses here and add value to our products, instead of taking out our products in raw form to add value there,” he stated.
Namibia exports diamonds, uranium, lead, zinc and tin, amongst other things, to Indonesia, while the country’s imports from that South-East Asian country include textiles.