Total exports and imports from the two nations have dropped steadily from 53.14 billion USD in 2011 to 31.27 billion USD in 2015, while Indonesian shipments to Japan went down by 46.5 percent, according to data from Trade Map of the International Trade Centre.
Shipments of Indonesia products could be improved by focusing on value-added products which Japan is also interested, said Chairman of the Asian-Pacific Committee, under the Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry Bernardino Vega.
Meanwhile, Iman Pambagyo, Indonesian Trade Ministry director general for international trade negotiations, said Indonesia and Japan still can boost exports despite slow recovery in the global economy.
He also added that the Indonesian-Japan Economic Partnership Agreement (IJEPA), which has taken effect since 2008, is among topics of concern during a meeting between Indonesian President Joko Widodo and Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe. The meeting is scheduled to take place on January 15 in Indonesia.
Indonesia plans to ask Japan to lower tariff barrier for its agricultural and fishery shipments, which currently stand at more than 10 percent, at the meeting.
Meanwhile, Japan may ask Indonesia to follow its commitment to reduce its import tariff from 45 percent to 20 percent on some 3,000 cc cars from Japan, which as stipulated in IJEPA and applied since the beginning of 2015.
Infrastructure and investment will also be raised for both leaders.
Japan is currently the second largest foreign investor in Indonesia, with its investment increasing from 1.5 billion USD in 2011 to 2.9 billion USD in the first six months of 2016 – equal to the total amount in 2015. The figure is expected to reach a record high of 5 billion USD in 2016, mostly from chemical and steel manufacturing.
Japan has signed various projects with Indonesia, including the Jakarta-Surabaya high speed railway and Pamtipan deep-water port in West Java.-VNA