Indonesia to boost tourism, trade links with Vietnam


Indonesia will make use of its advantages to enhance tourism, trade and investment cooperation with Vietnam in the years to come, Indonesian diplomats said.
Indonesian Ambassador in Vietnam Pitono Purnomo said as the two countries were home to world-recognized sites of great cultural and natural values, such as Yogyakarta and Bali in Indonesia and Hue and Halong Bay in Vietnam, travel agencies were able to cooperate on package tours covering these destinations. Airlines can join in by providing more air services between the two member nations of the Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN). Purnomo said at a Media Informal Gathering between Indonesian diplomats and local reporters in HCMC that Garuda Indonesia would resume service to Vietnam soon after the Indonesian national carrier had to call off its daily Jakarta-Singapore-HCMC flight since late November.
Syamsudin Sidabutar, minister counselor at the Indonesian embassy, said that Garuda Indonesia was planning to resume its service to Vietnam after a few months of temporary suspension.
The low-cost carrier Indonesia AirAsia launched its direct Jakarta-HCMC service in mid-September last year, and now conducts four weekly flights on this route, using the 180-seat Airbus A320. The other flights connecting Indonesia and Vietnam are operated via Singapore and other airport hubs in Asia.
Sidabutar said at the meeting that Sriwijaya Air and Mandala Air had been chosen to operate the flights between Indonesia and Vietnam as agreed by the two countries. But, these carriers have not announced their plans for the Vietnamese market.
Garuda Indonesia will fly back to Vietnam in the foreseeable future, and the Indonesian ambassador was pinning high hopes that Vietnam Airlines would also offer direct flights between the two countries.
In the Indonesian embassy’s plan are also events aimed to promote potential and opportunities for tourism as well as trade and investment in that country.
Ambassador Purnomo said Vietnamese companies were invited to invest in telecoms, agriculture and fisheries sectors in the market of more than 230 million people.
Two-way trade between Indonesia and Vietnam has increased significantly over the past years, and stood at US$2.5 billion last year.
Indonesian companies have invested in 22 projects in Vietnam, with combined capital of US$198 million.