By Tan Xingyu, translated by Xia Hailin
“Economic and trade exchanges between China and Indonesia will usher in a new stage of development when the COVID-19 epidemic is over,” said Xu Ningning, executive president of the China-ASEAN Business Council, in an interview with China Report ASEAN. Xu believes that China and Indonesia, the largest ASEAN economy, are closely connected in their economic relations. The outbreak of COVID-19 has had a negative impact on the cooperation between the business communities of the two sides. However, with the continuous sound momentum of the situation in epidemic prevention and control and the resumption of normal life and work in China, the business communities of the two sides are looking at ways to accelerate their cooperation after the end of the epidemic.
Statistics show that China is Indonesia’s largest trading partner. In 2019, Chinese investment in Indonesia amounted to US$4.74 billion, two times more than that of US$2.37 billion in 2018.
In recent years, the demand for infrastructure and industrial development in Indonesia has been strong. Within the framework of the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI), a number of Chinese enterprises have entered the Indonesian market with Chinese capital and Chinese brands to participate extensively in Indonesia’s economic development. Digital products such as Xiaomi and OPPO mobile phones have become popular in Indonesia. Internet companies such as JD.com are doing booming business in Indonesia.
Xu thinks that many Chinese companies are optimistic with the new business opportunities from the implementation of Indonesia’s Industry 4.0 and related infrastructure projects. Indonesia’s Industry 4.0 gives priority to the industries of food and beverage, automobile, electronics, textile and chemical industry. A large portion of Indonesia’s raw materials for its pillar textile, footwear and pharmaceutical industries are imported from China.
Xu believes that the impact of the epidemic on China-Indonesia economic and trade exchanges is temporary. The friendly relations between the two countries have withstood all kinds of tests and developed stably. He is confident that the exchanges and cooperation between the two countries will be closer and more active after the end of the epidemic.