New Delhi: India-Indonesia Business forum (IIBF) which aims to facilitate the commercial and people-to-people linkages between Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India with Aceh and North Sumatera Province of Indonesia will be held be at Port Blair on Thursday.
“A30-member delegation consisting of members of Chamber of Commerce of Aceh, state and local enterprises, shipping and logistics companies, academics, media and officials of Foreign Ministries of both countries would arrive at Port Blair via Chennai on 28th November to attend the Forum,” a press release from Indian Embassy in Jakarta stated.
The forum will also be attended by the members of Andaman Chamber of Commerce and officials of Andaman and Nicobar Administration.
According to the press statement, this edition of IIBF will be a step forward in the continuing engagements between Aceh and Andaman, which have commenced since July 2018, when the first Business Forum was held in Aceh.
The Indian delegation comprising members of Andaman Chamber of Commerce and Industry and officials from Andaman and Nicobar Administration and led by the Ambassador of India Pradeep Kumar Rawat visited Banda Aceh in the capital of Aceh Province in the first Business Forum.
“The preliminary research done by academic institutions in Indonesia have identified the potential and opportunities for economic cooperation that can be developed between Aceh & North Sumatera and Andaman-Nicobar, include: (1) tourism, especially cruise tourism and eco-tourism; (2) air transport connectivity, through regular commercial flights from Indonesia-Port Blair or via connecting flight in Singapore / Kuala Lumpur, or by charter flight; and (3) sea transportation in the form of RoRo vessel shipping to facilitate trade between the two regions (supply of commodity),” the press release read.
A Focus Group Discussion titled ‘Enhancing Business Connectivity between Aceh and Andaman & Nicobar’ was organized on November 5, in Banda Aceh where the Ambassador of India and the Head of Policy Analysis and Development, and Ministry of Foreign Affairs delivered keynote addresses.
A team of three researchers from Aceh also visited Andaman from November 23 to 28 to further explore the benefits and potential of enhancing physical connectivity between Andaman and Nicobar and Aceh.
Memorandum of Understanding between Chamber of Commerce of Aceh and Andaman Chamber of Commerce and Industry is currently under consideration and is expected to be agreed upon and signed in this visit.
During the official visit of Prime Minister Narendra Modi to Indonesia on 29-30 May, President Joko Widodo, and Prime Minister Modi had underlined the importance of stronger connectivity, particularly on sea links, in order to facilitate economic cooperation and people-to-people contact between two maritime neighbours and comprehensive strategic partners.
They had also welcomed the plan to build connectivity between Andaman Nicobar and Aceh to unleash the economic potentials of both areas.