India Indonesia Business Forum (IIBF) at Port Blair, Andaman and Nicobar Islands on 29 November 2018
An India Indonesia Business forum (IIBF) was heldat Port Blair in Andaman and Nicobar Islands on 29th November 2018. The forum aimed to facilitate the commercial and people to people linkages between Andaman and Nicobar Islands of India with Aceh and North Sumatera Province of Indonesia. A 30-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 arrived at Port Blair via Chennai on 28th November to attend the Forum. The forum was also attended by the members of Andaman Chamber of Commerce and officials of Andaman and Nicobar Administration.
2. This edition of IIBF was a step forward in the continuing engagements between Aceh and Andaman, which commenced since July 2018, when the 1st Business Forum was held in Aceh. For that event, an Indian delegation led by the Ambassador of India. H.E. Mr. Pradeep Kumar Rawat and comprising of members of Andaman Chamber of Commerce and Industry and officials from Andaman and Nicobar Administration visited Banda Aceh, capital of Aceh Province
3. 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).
4. On 5thNovember 2018, a Focus Group Discussion titled ‘Enhancing Business Connectivity between Aceh and Andaman & Nicobar’ was organized in Banda Aceh in which the Ambassador of India and the Head of Policy Analysis & Development, Ministry of Foreign Affairs delivered key note addresses. A team of 3 researchers from Aceh also visited Andaman from 23 to 28 November to further explore the benefits and potential of enhancing physical connectivity between Andaman & Nicobar and Aceh.
5. Memorandum of Understanding between Chamber of Commerce of Aceh and Andaman Chamber of Commerce and Industry was agreed upon and signed in this visit.
6. It may be recalled that during the official visit of the Prime Minister of India to Indonesia on 29-30 May 2018, President Joko Widodo, and PM Narendra 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 welcomed the plan to build connectivity between Andaman Nicobar and Aceh to unleash the economic potentials of both areas.