Jakarta (ANTARA News) – Foreign Affairs Minister Hassan Wirajuda said the visit of Mohamed Elzorkany, Egypt`s assistant foreign affairs minister for Asia, was aimed at boosting bilateral trade cooperation between the two countries.
The bilateral relations between Egypt and Indonesia was limited to the political field so far, and therefore the ties would be expanded to include economic, social and cultural fields.
â€œThe close political relations between Indonesia and Egypt will be intensified and translated into cooperation in other fields, including trade,â€ Wirajuda said. Elzorkany visited Jakarta as parts of his Asian tour which included China, Mongolia, and Malaysia.
During his two-day visit in Indonesia, the Egyptian official held meetings with Foreign Affairs Minister Hassan Wirajuda, Trade Minister Marie Elka Pangestu, and National Education Minister Bambang Sudibyo.
Elzorkany at a dinner reception hosted by the Egyptian ambassador to Indonesia, here on Monday evening, said that Egypt and Indonesia had big potential to intensify the bilateral cooperation in the trade and investment fields.
Indonesia and Egypt had close bilateral relations and both nations had set up a joint commission to improve cooperation in various fields, especially trade and investment, he said.
Egypt which recorded an economic growth at 7.1 percent last year, was a gate to Africa, Europe and other Arab countries, he said, hoping that Indonesia could use his country`s potential to penetrate those regional markets.
The bilateral trade value of the two countries reached US$1.1 billion, with Indonesia enjoyed a surplus of US$900 million.
Egypt`s exports to Indonesia include phosphates, cotton, fruits, and carpets, while its imports from Indonesia are among other things crude palm oil (CPO), rubber, paper, and tires.
Elzorkany believed that the two nations had huge potentials to achieve progress in the future.
Indonesia and Egypt as developing countries also supported each other in various international forum including in G-15, he said.