Economic ties between China, Indonesia enter "new normal" amid COVID-19: Chinese embassy

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The economic cooperation between China and Indonesia is entering a "new normal" stage as the two sides are innovating and exploring ways to keep businesses running amid COVID-19, an official at the Chinese Embassy said on Wednesday.

At a virtual press conference held by the embassy, Wang Liping, minister counselor for economic & commerce, said governments and businesses of China as well as Indonesia are refraining from pandemic pressures through exploration and innovations to keep their pragmatic bilateral relationship running during the "new normal" era.

Chinese companies investing in Indonesia, he said, were actively adjusting to market changes in the "new normal" era by moving their services on the Internet and even at home.

"For example, carmaker DFSK Sokonindo provides door-to-door services including pickup and delivery, maintenance and repair," he said, adding that engineering companies also try to overcome difficulties by making every effort to ensure that project development continue.

"Since the implementation of the 'new normal', most of the 24 Chinese companies in Indonesia that previously stopped (due to the outbreak) have resumed their operations," Wang said.

He also highlighted the importance of both online and offline trading as they are to create new opportunities for businesses players from China and Indonesia during the "new normal".

Large-scale offline exhibitions such as China International Import Expo, he said, continue to be held on schedule, while "Online Promotion" is carried out as an innovative step to increase the confidence of businesses. Meanwhile, the online exhibitions such as the Canton Fair produce extraordinary benefits that build an "online bridge" for Indonesian businesses to access the Chinese market.

Wang stressed business actors from both countries continue investment cooperation through online negotiations, virtual conferences, and online contract signing.

From January to April of 2020, the volume of bilateral trade between China and Indonesia reached 24.1 billion U.S. dollars, down only 0.5 percent compared to the same period last year.

Meanwhile, Chinese investment in Indonesia reached 1.3 billion U.S. dollars in the first quarter, up 12 percent year-on-year, making China the second largest source of investment for Indonesia.

"This achievement is commendable during this pandemic," Wang said.

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