Ambassador of the Republic of Indonesia H.E. Mr. Ishak Latuconsina visited Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry on December 15, 2011. The Ambassador was accorded a warm welcome on his arrival at the Chamber House by the President LCCI Mr. Irfan Qaiser Sheikh, Senior Vice President Mr. Kashif Younis Meher, Vice President Ms. Saeeda Nazar and other senior executive members of the LCCI. In his remarks on the occasion, the Ambassador said that the objective of his visit was to keep up the momentum of close interactions with the LCCI to enhance the two way trade and investments between the two countries. He availed the opportunity to congratulate Mr. Irfan Qaiser Sheikh for his election as the President of Lahore Chamber of Commerce and Industry and expressed hope that during his tenure the cooperation between the Embassy and the LCCI will further grow. The Ambassador informed the meeting about the progress on PTA between Indonesia and Pakistan and said that the agreement will be formally signed in the January 2012. The Ambassador expressed confidence that the PTA will herald a new era of bilateral trade between the two countries where businessmen of both the sides will have a wide range of new choices to trade and make investments which the Envoy believed would push the trade volume between the two countries way up to the desired levels. The Envoy stressed on the need to fully optimize the opportunities that the PTA will offer to the businessmen for the good of the economies of the two countries. The Ambassador also informed the meeting about the Indonesian trade delegation which is scheduled to visit Pakistan in February 2012. The envoy elaborated that the delegation would mainly focus on the CPO market in Pakistan but at the same time other areas of interest will be explored as well. Ambassador H.E. Mr. Ishak Latuconsina also said that the Embassy will ensure the availability of updated information on Indonesian trade & investment policies and tariff systems on import and export to facilitate the business community. The Envoy also highlighted Embassy’s cultural and social activities and elaborated that the Indonesian Cultural Week and Tremebsi-tree plantation drive has received greater interest about Indonesia’s socio-economic and cultural dynamics from the broader spectrum of the Pakistani society. Speaking on the occasion, the LCCI Mr. President Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that Indonesia and Pakistan are bonded together by old historical links and enjoy cordial relations. Indonesia is the world largest Muslim country in terms of its population, whereas Pakistan is the world second largest Muslim country. He said that both countries are members of the Organization of Islamic countries as well. But these distinctive attributes hardly get reflected in our trade and investment relations. Irfan Qaiser Sheikh said that Pakistan’s major exports to Indonesia includes cotton, raw hides & skins, manmade staple fibers, fish, cereals, beverages, spirits and etc. Whereas Pakistan imports mineral fuels, oils, fruits, paper & paper board, animal & vegetable fats, man-made staple fibres and etc., from Indonesia. He said that still a lot is desired in view of the size of markets of the two countries. He expressed confidence that the Preferential Trade Agreement between two countries that is going to be effective from January 2012 will go a long way in boosting up bilateral trade and turn around the situation to benefit both the countries. Showing great enthusiasm the President LCCI welcomed the arrival of the delegation to Pakistan and said that they look forward to explore trade and investment potentials with the trade delegation in Lahore. He identified Petro-chemical, rubber, plywood, CPO and tourism industry as potential sectors that Indonesia could make direct investment and could also enter into joint ventures with Pakistani counterparts. Role of Business women in enhancing trade activities was also touched upon and both sides agreed that the businesswomen should be encouraged to take advantage of the opportunities particularly in fashion design and other creative industries. While forming a consultative group of specialists to focus on certain tradable items was also discussed. Vice President Ms. Saeeda Nazar highlighted batik wearable and other batik products as one of the potential items that have a huge market in Pakistan. While senior vice President LCCI, Mr. Kashif Younis Meher briefed the Ambassador on the idea of having a Muslim Consumer Market and Muslim Financial Market to enhance trade and investment activities among the Muslim countries. At the conclusion of the meeting both the sides agreed to continue to work closely to promote greater trade activities between the two countries by means of accessibility to relevant information, exchanges of trade delegations and trade exhibitions.