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Russia: Tatarstan wishes to have closer ties with Indonesia

15/4/12  www.thejakartapost.com

The Republic of Tatarstan aims to improve its relations with Indonesia as President Rustam Minnikhanov expressed his intention to visit Indonesia at the end of September to meet various economic, trade, industry and tourism stakeholders.

The intention was conveyed to Indonesian Ambassador to Russia, Djauhari Oratmangun, during a visit to the Tatarstan capital city of Kazan on Thursday, the Indonesian Embassy in Moscow said in a media statement sent on Saturday.

Minnikhanov emphasized Tatarstan’s intention to increase tourism cooperation with Indonesia.

Djauhari also met with several ministers, Tatarstan chambers of commerce and industry, as well as delivering a general lecture at the Kazan University.

Officials from both countries agreed that Tatarstan and Indonesia had complementary potential and each country could become an entrance for goods from the other country. Tatarstan could become the entrance for Indonesian products to the central and eastern part of Russia while Indonesia could become the entrance for Tatarstani products in the ASEAN region.

Tatarstan is also the entry point for halal products from other countries, having a Muslim majority and the largesthalal industry in Russia.

As one of 83 federal subjects of the Russian Federation, Tatarstan is one oil and gas producer in Russia and has a strong petrochemical industry. There is also an aviation industry, the Kazan Aircraft Production Association (KAPO), and the Kazan Helicopters.

“In addition to helicopters, we also export dump trucks, rubber products, metal products and plastic products,” Minnikhanov said. “We are ready to be a hub for Indonesian halal products.”

As ASEAN will become a single community implementing a zero-percent tariff in 2015, Djauhari said Indonesia was ready to become a hub for Tatarstani products to ASEAN.

“We welcome the plan on joint production and assembling of the Kamas truck in Indonesia.”

The capital city of Kazan will host a number of international events, such as the meetings of APEC trade and agriculture ministers and businessmen in May to June and the 2013 Universiade. The Tatarstani government is currently preparing all needed infrastructure for those events.

Djauhari said that Indonesian trade and agriculture ministers will attend the APEC meetings together with a number of businessmen to follow up cooperation in various sectors.

The ambassador also met with the Tatarstani Mufti Council to discuss the possibilities of religious cooperation. The council specifically requested training from Indonesian experts on management of waqaf, or religious endowments for charitable purposes.

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