Indonesia wants SA to reciprocate by dropping visa requirements

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Indonesia wants South Africa to reciprocate, after the South-East Asian country’s recent move to do away with Visa requirements for South Africans visiting the country.

The growing powerhouse of the Asian region has issued an investment call to South African business. The country has urged South Africa to re-look at barriers that are currently hampering trade between the two countries.

On a mission to attract South Africa’s attention – Indonesia has been battling to accelerate trade with South Africa.

The South-East Asian country is growing at 5%, with a population of over 200 million people, of whom less than 5% are unemployed. It wants South Africa to explore business opportunities between the two countries.

This country needs new investments to meet ambitious new targets. It needs 250 000 additional hotel beds in a tourism sector that is growing by 20%. But Pretoria has not yet fully extended the hand of friendship.

Daniel Simanjuntak is the Director of African Affairs in Indonesia:

“With South Africa we will like to see more, Brazil has more trade with Indonesia but it’s far. We are not happy with SA trade.”

Indonesia has set aside 97 million US dollars to invest in Africa. The south-east Asian country also wants South Africa to address some of the barriers to trade that exist between the two nations.

Diplomatic relations between South Africa and Indonesia have been in existence for more than 20 years. But business opportunities between the two countries have not been fully explored.

In the past few years, Indonesia attracted a slew of new foreign direct investment mainly from Singapore, Japan and China.

However, South Africa’s tough visa requirements coupled with high tariffs are making it difficult to do business and make adjustments to customs regulations.

China has made major strides in investment in Africa in recent years. But Indonesia says its investment drive is not for competition.