Shimla: With the target for bilateral trade between Indonesia and India raised from $25 to $ 45 billion by 2015, Indonesian ambassador Andi Muhammad Ghalib is scouting for opportunities to tie up with Himachal in education, agriculture, horticulture and tourism sectors.
Talking to journalists here on Thursday, Ghalib said that with a lot of area in Indonesia being a mountainous region, experience in agriculture and horticulture practices along with tourism could be shared.
He said that though Indonesia had made much progress in education sector but a stronger tie up with India could help in giving larger opportunities of higher education to Indonesian scholars as it education was very costly in western countries.
Earlier the ambassador had called upon chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal.
After China, US and Japan, India is Indonesia’s fourth largest trading partner with bilateral trade now touching $ 22 billion.
By 2015 it is targeted to grow to $ 45 billion that has been upward revised from the earlier $ 25 billion and in times to come India could emerge as the largest trading partner, he said.
With Indian power companies which include Tata’s Reliance and Adani entering Indonesia’s mining sector in a big way, the current balance of trade in against India.
More than 150 Indian companies are expected to participate in the Jakarta International Trade Fair in October, said Ghalib.
To provide better connectivity among the over 18000 islands that constitute the Indonesia archipelago, our government has drawn up plans to construct 240 airports and only two are being constructed, said the ambassador as he invited infrastructure companies to avail the opportunity.
Other than the mining sector, there was tremendous potential for oil exploration in the area. India also happens be the largest importer of crude palm oil from Indonesia, he added.
HPU for joint study center with Indonesia
To increase higher education opportunities for students from Indonesia, vice chancellor of HPU (Himachal Pradesh University) ADN Bajpai sought opening of a joint study center with Indonesian ambassador Andi Mohammad Ghalib, who had called on the academician on Friday.
Bajpai let the ambassador know that that HPU had potential in bio-sciences, bio-technology, bio-informatics, IT, management, languages, social sciences, Yoga and tourism faculties to take in students from Indonesia.
The visiting ambassador was accompanied by education attaché Son Kuswadi.