The Indonesia-Africa Forum –IAF was officially opened by Vice President, Jusuf Kalla in Nusa Dua, Bali on Tuesday (April 10, 2018). The two-day forum was the first held between Indonesia and 47 African countries.
Organized by the Indonesian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the IAF was also supported by Ministry of Trade. The event was attended by 575 delegates from 47 African and the African Union , consisted of policymakers, state-owned enterprises -BUMN, and the private sectors.
The Indonesia-Africa Forum is a platform for governments and businesspeople of Indonesia and African countries to explore and enhance economic and trade cooperation. Besides promoting investment and technical cooperation, the IAF is in line with the efforts of the Ministry of Trade in applying diversification of export products to non-traditional markets, such as African countries.
Based on the records of the Ministry of Trade, the total trade between Indonesia and Africa in 2017 reached $8.85 billion dollars. This value increased by 15.49 percent compared to that of the previous year. The products exported to Africa include palm oil, textiles and textile products, paper, soap, and coffee.
On the first day of the Indonesia-Africa Forum, 10 economic cooperation agreements were signed with a trade value reaching over $586 million dollars. In addition, business plans were announced by 11 companies in Africa with potential trade worth about $1, 3 billion dollars.
Until the second day, Indonesia-Africa Forum -IAF managed to increase the value of trade transactions about $500 million dollars. The total potential trade agreement for the two-day event amounts to $2.3 billion dollars.
Seeing the potential cooperation that can be developed between Indonesia and countries in Africa, it is natural that this event is expected to be held regularly. The Indonesia-Africa Forum is an effective place to explore the African market which is now a new promising one for Indonesian trade. However above all, there needs synergic cooperation among the stakeholders in boosting Indonesian trade in the African market.