This was said by Russia’s Ambassador to Indonesia Lyudmila Vorobieva on Tuesday, April 19.
“If this positive trend continues, we can reach the [trade volume] target despite all the disruption in the global economy,” Lyudmila told Kompas Go.
The Russian ambassador said that the economic cooperation of both countries has been developing very well. Russia's bilateral trade with Indonesia totaled nearly $3 billion, or up 42 percent, in 2021. Indonesia recorded a $240 million trade surplus last year, according to the Central Statistics Agency (BPS) data.
The products that Indonesia exported to Russia, among others, palm oil, juice, tropical fruits, and furniture. Meanwhile, Indonesia imported wheat, fertilizers, and cellulose products from Russia, said Lyudmila.
“We buy a lot of palm oil from Indonesia and we see that the number has been increasing. We don’t have any restrictions regarding trade in this important item,” she added.
In a bid to achieve the trade volume target of $5 billion, both parties have agreed on the need for a discussion to resolve trade barriers issues that also involved the stakeholders of the two countries, according to the Indonesian Foreign Affairs Ministry website.
Concerning Russian investment in Indonesia, Lyudmila said that a Russian oil company is conducting feasibility studies in Natuna as Moscow is keen on participating in the gas exploration drilling project.
“Relevant officials are now assessing the commercial viability,” she said.
The envoy also said that other potential areas of cooperation that both countries can explore are hydro and nuclear energy development to produce electricity and the joint production of middle-range commercial aircraft.
“We are ready to share our experiences in this technology with Indonesia.”
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The two countries also see the frequent exchange of high-level visits while strengthening the cooperation in education, people-to-people contact, and tourism.
The envoy said that currently, 700 Indonesians are studying in Russia. Due to high demand, the country has increased the number of scholarships to 261 from 161 in the previous years. “We received more than 1,000 applications this year,” Lyudmila said.
In tourism sector, 160,000 Russians visited Bali annually before the Covid-19 pandemic.
Russia sees Indonesia as a key partner not only in the ASEAN region but also in the Asia Pacific, the envoy said. The two countries established diplomatic relations in 1950.