Indonesian trade fair expands bilateral trade with Laos

LAO PDR (Vientiane Times) - The three-day Wonderful Indonesia Trade Fair at Vientiane Center from September 20-22 featured 22 Indonesian entrepreneurs highlighting their goods and services to increase bilateral trade with Laos.

Representatives of the Indonesia embassy join VIP guests at the trade fair opening on Friday

The trade fair was officially opened on Friday by the Indonesian Ambassador to Laos, Mr Pratito Soeharyo in the presence of Lao Deputy Minister of Industry and Commerce, Mr Somchit Inthamith, and diplomatic corps.

In his opening speech, Mr Soeharyo said this year’s trade fair featured 22 Indonesian entrepreneurs showcasing food, clothing, and travel agents to fertilisers, with most new to Laos. He said his embassy in Vientiane was not only facilitating Indonesian entrepreneurs but also four local companies known for their high quality handicrafts opened booths during the event to build networks with their Indonesian counterparts.

The event follows a meeting between Indonesian President, Mr Joko Widodo and Lao Prime Minister, Mr Thongloun Sisoulith in October 2017, where both leaders agreed to increase Bilateral Economic Diplomacy.

Mr Soeharyo said the cooperation between the two countries extended beyond bilateral trade but also people to people exchanges, especially the younger generation. He noted that two-way trade for the first six months of 2019 was up 19 percent compared to the same period last year.

This year, total trade reached US$24 million, up from US$20.8 million last year. This figure showed significant progress in economic diplomacy between Indonesia and Laos and was heading in the right direction, the ambassador explained.

Last month, the Indonesian Government also organised a working visit of the Lao Minister to the Prime Minister’s Office, Mr Alounkeo Kittikhoun to Indonesia. This visit is expected to lead to estimated investment reaching US$2 billion that includes railway construction, sugarcane plantations and processing, potash mining and coal exports to Laos.