Russia-Indonesia trade soars – envoy

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Trade between Russia and Indonesia has grown over 50% this year despite global tensions, the Russian ambassador to the southeast Asian country, Lyudmila Vorobyova, said in an interview with local newspaper Rakyat Merdeka.

According to the official, the two countries are working on a number of projects together, and Russia is actively invested in Indonesia.

“Relations between the two countries are very close … Despite the Covid-19 pandemic and general geopolitical tensions, last year we saw an increase of more than 50% in trade between our countries,” Vorobyova said, adding that there are many areas where cooperation can be improved.

The trade turnover between Russia and Indonesia has been steadily growing for three years now, from $1.9 billion in 2019 to $2.3 billion in 2020 and $3.3 billion last year. Russia supplies Indonesia with grain, fertilizers, oil, metal, and construction materials, among other products. Indonesian exports to Russia include animal and vegetable oil, rubber, textiles, and clothing.

Vorobyeva also noted that the Indonesian resort island of Bali is among the favorite destinations for Russian tourists.

“Ask any passerby on the streets of a Russian city what he knows about Indonesia. He will answer, Bali,” the ambassador said jokingly. Before the Covid-19 pandemic, the flow of tourists from Russia to Indonesia was at almost 160,000 per year, but the numbers dropped during the lengthy lockdowns and haven’t recovered to pre-pandemic levels yet.

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