Brunei posts trade deficit with Indonesia

National 1 minute, 56 seconds

BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN

BRUNEI registered a trade deficit with Indonesia for the first half of this year.

Exports totaled $37.5 million, down 6 per cent on year from $39.8 million.

From January to May this year, total trade between Brunei and Indonesia stood at $89.1 million where Brunei recorded a deficit of $14 million with a total export value of $37.5 million against total imports of $51.5 million.

The first six months of last year saw bilateral trade between the countries amounting to $106 million with Brunei’s imports at $66.4 million.

According to Eko Himawan, minister counsellor for economic affairs at the Indonesian Embassy in Brunei, the sultanate mostly exports oil and gas and oil products to Indonesia.

“Meanwhile, Indonesia’s exports (to Brunei) consist mainly of food and beverages, textiles and their products,” he said on the sidelines of the opening ceremony of the three-day Indonesian Maritime Products Exhibition at The Mall, Gadong yesterday.

According to statistics provided by the embassy which were obtained from the Department of Economic Planning and Development (JPKE), the annual trade figure for the two countries hit $944.4 million in 2014.

Last year, however, the figure plummeted to $262.2 million, a 72 per cent decrease.

Speaking during the launch of the exhibition, Indonesia’s ambassador to Brunei Darussalam, Nurul Qomar, said fluctuations in trade values between Brunei and Indonesia in the past few years didn’t illustrate ‘the true potential of both countries’.

Further collaborations between Brunei and Indonesia are needed in order to maximise their ‘uncharted potentials’ that can be beneficial to both countries.

She added that aside from promoting Indonesian products, the annual exhibition is aimed at developing further cooperation between the two neighbouring countries’ business communities.

“In this sense, I urge participating companies to (see the) bigger picture, not merely (to sell their products) but also to set up networks with Bruneian partners to serve a larger market, regionally and beyond,” she said, adding that Bruneian companies should also take this opportunity for potential partnerships.

Eko Himawan said the exhibition features a total of 20 booths which showcase products from more than 10 small and medium enterprises from Jakarta, Bandung, Jogjakarta and Kudus with 38 entrepreneurs participating.

Present to officiate the ceremony was Minister of Primary Resources and Tourism Yang Berhormat Dato Seri Setia Hj Ali Hj Apong along with other invited guests comprising foreign envoys and members of the public.

The Brunei Times