August 6, 2009

Israel and Indonesia boost business ties

Israeli business leaders recently visited Indonesia even though the countries have no formal diplomatic ties, an Israeli commercial attache said.

Anat Katz, an Israeli commercial attache in Singapore said it took three years to build a business relationship that would be permitted by law in Israel and Indonesia to facilitate the trip, The Jerusalem Post reported Thursday. Katz said the aim of the trip was to strengthen ties between the two countries.

The visit was organized by the Israel Export and International Cooperation Institute and the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry.

Bilateral trade between Israel and Indonesia stood at $47.8 million for the first half of 2009, a 60 percent decline from the same period in 2008, the Post said.

Members of Indonesia's Chamber of Commerce (KADIN) visited Israel in 2006.

The Jakarta Post reported last year that visiting Indonesian delegates had signed a medical cooperation agreement with Israel's Magen David Adom ambulance service and the American Israel Joint Distribution Committee in Tel Aviv worth $200.000. The head of the Indonesian delegation said at the time, the visit would not have occurred if Israel's MDA had not been recognized as an equal member of the International Committee of the Red Cross.