Chennai: With Tamil Nadu’s proximity to Indonesia, that country is keen on exploring ways and means to ensure direct air and maritime
connectivity with Tamil Nadu. Indonesia’s instant noodles and agricultural products are the other areas that Indonesia is eager to export to India.
“Unfortunately we don’t have direct flight from Sumatra to Chennai. Untill now the flight is through different countries like Malaysia or Singapore. So, hopefully the commitment of the two leader (Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Joko Widodo) besides business men will help materialise the air and maritime connectivity,”says Ade Sukendar, Consul General of the Republic of Indonesia, Mumbai.
Mr. Sukendar, who led a business delegation to the city on Saturday says his team from Aceh, a province of Indonesia, located at the northern end of Sumatra, was in Andamans and discussed with the chamber of commerce there to improve the bilateral ties. “Tamil Nadu shares a common maritime border with us and both Tamil Nadu and Aceh would stand to gain if the maritime, aviation and tourism sectors are developed,”Mr. Sukendar said. On a visit to Chennai, the top official exuded hope that the heads of the two countries would take the bilateral trade to greater heights.
Launching cruise tourism too had emerged during the talks between the two heads. “Now this is the challenge the two countries face as Indonesia’s border with Chennai is very close – just about 90 nautical miles,”he said and added that Garuda Indonesia Airlines operated direct flight from Mumbai to Bali but not to Jakarta. Direct air connectivity with Chennai would drastically reduce travel time, he asserted during a chat with this Deccan Chronicle correspondent.
Ready to export construction material:
There is tremendous potential for business to grow in the Aceh and Chennai regions, as they are geographically close. “That is why we are in Chennai. We can provide construction material, including sand, which is so scarce in Chennai,”he added.
“Aceh is ready to export construction material to Chennai. We can provide the construction material for the construction of houses. I wish to see more interaction. Please come to Aceh for exploring the business on both the sides,”Mr. Sukendar urged.
Indonesia is most attractive destination to Indians:
Indonesia is one of the most attractive destinations to Indian tourists with its rich culture, wonderful nature, friendly people and much more that will make as
once-in-a-life time experience. Among the key attractions are: spa, ecotourism, marine tourism and MICE and these draw visitors. Further, the Visit Free Visa facility opened by Indonesia for Indian nationals make it easier for Indian travellers to visit Indonesia.
India has been ranked sixth among the top ten tourism markets for Indonesia and the number of Indian visitors are increasing annually.
Indonesia has set target of 7,00,000 Indian Tourists visiting Indonesia in 2018 against 4,85,314 in 2017. “With the commencement of non-stop flight of Garuda Indonesia Airlines from Mumbai to Bali we are sure to achieve this goal,”he said. Indonesia’s stunning natural landscape offer plethora of opportunities for Indian film industry to explore the splendour and reap good harvests.
“Both the countries share much in common-geographical expanse, size and diversity of the population, culture, history and a colonial past as well as the similar direction of foreign policies in the post-independence era.
History informed us that the India-Indonesia relation dates back long ago when the Indian traders arrived in Indonesia in the 1st Century. Both have been having trade and cultural links for the last 2,000 years,”he said.