Th Indonesian embassy to Egypt convened the ‘Agribusiness Expo’ with the participation of about 17 Indonesian companies working on exporting Indonesian products including coffee, tea, palm, coconut oil, and Indonesian fruits.
The Agribusiness Expo and other similar exhibitions in Egypt aim to boost trade relations between both countries, Deputy Chief of Mission at Indonesia’s embassy to Egypt, M Aji Surya, told Daily News Egypt during the event held on 9 September.
Trade exchange between Egypt and Indonesia hiked by 18% during the first quarter (Q1) of 2019 reaching $340m compared to Q1 of 2018, the Indonesian ambassador to Egypt, Helmy Fauzy, told DNE in May 2019.
Egypt and Indonesia are still discussing the suitable timing for signing a Preferential Trade Agreement (PTA) as an initial step before signing a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) to boost trade exchange which hit $1.5bn, M Aji Surya noted, expecting to reach a PTA soon.
For her part, Ir Hj Delima HA chairperson of the Indonesian Plantation Association (IPA) told DNE that her 3,000-member association seeks to increase its exported commodities to Egypt during the next period. “We have members ranging from big, small, and medium companies and we produce commodities like palm oil, coffee, cacao, tea, and several spices,” she added.
The IPA aims to make Egypt its regional hub to fully use its already signed agreements with the European Union (EU) and the African countries’ African Continental Free Trade Agreement (AfCFTA), she stated.
“We want to increase our exports to Egypt and enter other regional markets through Egypt. During our September visit, I met with a number of Egyptian companies who want to import our products,” she added.
PT Taman Delta Indonesia aims to expand its exports to the Egyptian market, Megawati Krisnadi, export marketing manager at the company, told Daily News Egypt, during her participation at the Agribusiness Expo.
“We export from 15 to 20 containers of coffee to Egypt per month and we want to expand more. We seek to recognise new buyers and importers of our coffee,” she declared, noting that PT Taman Delta Indonesia has just started to export to Egypt in October 2018.
According to the coffee division at Cairo’s Chamber of Commerce, about 70% of Egypt’s coffee imports come from Indonesia where coffee beans are more affordable, but of high quality.
The company is still learning about the Egyptian market and is still considering the establishment of an office in Egypt in the long term, according to Megawati Krisnadi, stating that her company is already exporting to about 15 Egyptian companies.
Indonesia’s Trade Minister, Enggartiasto Lukita, anticipated a 300% annual trade increase with Egypt after signing a PTA, noting that “any trade figure less than $2bn is very low.” Signing the proposed agreement is likely to take place in 2019, the minister told DNE in October 2018.