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Ambassador says goods could flow both ways

By Geraldine Panapasa SUVA, Fiji (Fiji Times, Aug. 11, 2010) - Fiji is a potential launching pad for Indonesia's products into the region, says Ambassador Aidil Chandra Salim.

The Indonesian ambassador made the comment on Monday in light of recent events organised by the embassy to commemorate Indonesia's Independence Day on August 17 and the 65th anniversary of the Indonesian Foreign Ministry which was established two days after independence.

"We see there is huge potential for relations between Pacific countries and Indonesia," he said.

"In terms of economic trade, we see the market is not only in Fiji. However, we see that Fiji is a hub and we can communicate to the Pacific through Fiji.

"Our embassy was established in Fiji in 2002 and in terms of value, it is still small. I think we can improve.

"I believe there are products from Fiji that can be marketable in Indonesia. Fiji was once an exporter of sugar to our country.

"I visited the Fiji Sugar Corporation last week and they said things are not favourable at the moment to export sugar.

"Another product that Indonesia can absorb is Pure Fiji. It's good high-quality products which can be marketable there."

Meanwhile, an awareness booth has been set up at MHCC in Suva by the embassy to introduce some Indonesian products sold in Fiji.

Mr Salim said a trade expo in Indonesia would be held in October with over 90 countries expected to visit.

He extended invitation to Fiji businesses saying this would be an opportunity to learn more about Indonesian culture and products.

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