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China Keen to Expand Trade, Economic Cooperation With Indonesia
China and Indonesia, two big developing countries in Asia, have seen trade and cooperation in economic areas grow smoothly over the past decade.

Trade and cooperation between the two countries will be boostedwith joint efforts from both sides, said an official with the Department of Asian Affairs of the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Cooperation (MOFTEC), who did not wish to be named.

The official made the remarks during an exclusive interview with Xinhua on the eve of China's top legislator Li Peng's visit to Indonesia.

"There are many favorable factors for the two sides to expand trade and economic cooperation," said the official. "Great potential remains to be tapped. We are willing to work with Indonesia and bring trade and economic cooperation to a higher level."

Over the past decade since the two countries resumed full diplomatic relations in 1990, China and Indonesia have maintained friendly ties under the five principles of peaceful co-existance. Chinese Premier Zhu Rongji visited Indonesia in 2001, and Indonesian President Megawati Soekarnoputri visited China this year.

Trade between the two countries has grown rapidly since 1985 when direct trade was restored. But in 2001, due to world economicslowdown and the Sept. 11 incident in the United States, two-way trade declined 9.9 percent to 6.725 billion US dollars. China exported to Indonesia goods worth 2.837 billion US dollars, down 7.4 percent, and imported 3.888 billion US dollars worth of Indonesian goods, down 11.7 percent.

China's exports to Indonesia were mainly machinery and equipment, electrical appliances and electronic devices, crude oil,textile products and motorcycles. Indonesian exports to China weremainly crude oil, paper pulp, sawn logs, paper and paper board, timber, veneer and palm oil.

Indonesia is one of China's largest sources of overseas investment among the members of the Association of Southeast AsianNations (ASEAN). By 2001, China had approved a total of 841 Indonesian-funded ventures, with contractual investment worth 1.748 billion US dollars. Actual Indonesian investments in China added up to 1.011 billion US dollars.

On the other hand, China's investment in Indonesia increased to62.29 million US dollars through its 54 non-trading ventures there.Among the largest China-invested ventures are Konka, Jialing, and Little Swan, which produce television sets, motorcycles and washing machines.

Chinese firms had also signed engineering and labor service contracts worth 907 million US dollars with Indonesian firms by the end of 2001. Total turnover of the projects and services reached 482 million US dollars.

Over the past decade, China and Indonesia have signed a dozen agreements concerning bilateral trade and economic cooperation. A mixed committee on trade and economic cooperation has also convened five sessions so far.

The MOFTEC official said China was satisfied with the expansionof trade and economic cooperation with Indonesia, but hoped to go further.

"We are satisfied with the overall development of two-way tradeand economic cooperation with Indonesia," he said. "But we believethere is still great potential to be tapped, and the level of trade and economic cooperation can move up a notch." Enditem

(Xinhua News Agency September 7, 2002)

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