Israel has signed its first economic agreement with Indonesia to cooperate in business matters, the Manufacturers Association of Israel said Wednesday, calling the deal a breakthrough in relations between the two countries.
"Indonesia can be a central market for exporting Israeli goods to Southeast Asia," IMA President Shraga Brosh said. "I also see great importance in strengthening economic ties with the world's largest Muslim country."
Brosh signed the agreement late Tuesday with Indonesian Chamber of Commerce and Industry president Mohamad Hidayat whereby the two would work to exchange information, advance joint business projects and help Israeli companies in their activities in Indonesia and vice versa.
A joint working committee has been formed to ensure the agreement is implemented, Brosh and Hidayat announced after the signing.
Trade with Indonesia reached approximately $154 million in 2005, of which just $14m. were Israeli exports, mainly in the chemicals and electronics industries. Imports from Indonesia of $140m. were predominantly in electronics products, plastics and rubber.
Brosh estimated the agreement would increase trade between the two countries four-fold within five years, to reach $600m. by 2010.
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