Indonesia and India set an ambitious target of doubling trade in five years as Asia's two biggest democracies moved to strengthen ties. The countries on Jan. 25 signed business deals worth $15.1 billion.
The 18 pacts spanning energy, infrastructure, manufacturing, services and other sectors were signed in the presence of visiting Indonesian President Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono in New Delhi. "We are growing stronger as economic partners," Yudhoyono said. "There is so much we can do together."
Yudhoyono said the two countries had set a goal of doubling trade to $25 billion by 2015.
The announcement came as the countries said they had begun negotiations on a market opening pact to reduce tariffs and goods and services to boost trade. Trade volumes between the two countries have tripled to $12 billion from $4 billion in 2005.
Agreements were signed by a number of key Indian companies including the Tata Group and infrastructure heavyweight GVK, the company building Mumbai's new airport. GVK will build international airports on Indonesias resort island of Bali and in Yogyakarta, a city in central Java. GVK chairman Krishna Reddy told reporters the deals were worth $3 billion to $5 billion.
"We are very excited by the opportunity to create new landmarks in Bali and Java," Reddy said.
Copyright Agence France-Presse, 2011