Indonesian products such as beer, coffee and furniture began to enter the Russian Far East market, from the thousands of Primorsky Krai Provinces of Vladivostok to Siberia, and even Moscow. One of Indonesia’s well-known beer products “Bali Hai” for example, has entered 90% of supermarkets in the Primorsky Krai region and beyond.
This was revealed from the working visit of the Indonesian Ambassador to the Russian Federation and the Republic of Belarus, M. Wahid Supriyadi, to Vladivostok on 5-7 December 2018. During the visit, Ambassador Wahid was accompanied by Minister of Economic Counselor, Edi Suharto, Indonesian Trade Attache in Russia, Farid Amir and Secretary I of Pensosbud, Enjay Diana.
Valentin Ushakov, Director General of the Trade Group, importer of beer “Bali Hai” said the size of market opportunities in the Russian Far East region is quite big. It has cooperated with one of Indonesia’s beer producers starting in December 2017. Since the first container arrival in February 2018 until the end of 2018, the company has imported 30 containers worth USD 400-450 thousand. Valentin Ushakov also wants to import other products from Indonesia such as cooking oil and instant coffee.
“Indonesian beer is in demand in Russia. Our market is not only in the Russian Far East, but also has reached Moscow. In 2019 it is planned to import around 100 containers with a value of around USD 1.5 million,” Valentin Ushakov said when meeting Ambassador Wahid.
Other entrepreneurs like Ananesyan Goraevich, Director of the LCC “Ermak” wants to import Indonesian products, such as palm oil, coffee, noodles and paper. While Olga Bagryantseva, Director of the House of Indonesia, who has been importing furniture from Indonesia for a long time, made use of the Indonesian Ambassador’s visit by holding the 2019 New Year Market to promote and sell other products from Indonesia besides furniture, such as batik cloth, cooking spices, therapeutic spa needs and various souvenirs. In 2015, Olga Bagryantseva received the Primaduta Award from the Indonesian Ministry of Trade.
The potential for trade cooperation between Indonesia and Primorsky Krai was also discussed at a meeting between Ambassador Wahid and Acting Governor of Primorsky Krai, Oleg Kozhemyako. According to Oleg Kozhemyako, the value of trade between Primorsky Krai and Indonesia in 2017 is only USD 21 million and needs to be increased again. Ambassador Wahid agreed with Oleg Kozhemyako to try to increase the trade value of both parties. For this reason, Ambassador Wahid proposed the establishment of an Indonesian Business Association with the Russian Far East in the near future. The proposal was also welcomed by KADIN Primorsky Krai during a meeting with Ambassador Wahid which was carried out separately as a continuation after the meeting of Ambassador Wahid with local business actors in the form of a business forum.
Primorsky Krai is one of the regions of the Russian Federation in the Russian Far East. Vladivostok as the provincial capital experienced rapid development since the implementation of the 2012 APEC Summit. The Russian government carried out infrastructure development in Vladivostok and made it the gateway to Russia to the Asia Pacific region along with Russian foreign policy to look to the east. Every year in Vladivostok various international activities are held, such as the Eastern Economic Forum (EEC) and the Pacific International Tourism Expo (PITE).
Geographically, Indonesia’s distance to Vladivostok is closer than Indonesia to Moscow. Vladivostok is a port city. Cargo shipping by sea from Indonesia to Vladivostok takes around 16 days, while to St. Petersburg in the western region of Russia takes around 40 days. From Vladivostok to Moscow merchandise can be distributed by train which requires a travel time of around a week. Thus, Vladivostok can be a gateway for Indonesian products, not only to eastern Russia, but also to western Russia, including Moscow.
According to Ambassador Wahid, the existence of trade and economic potential between Indonesia and Vladivostok, especially Primorsky Krai, and the Russian Far East in general need to be worked out well. The potential for Indonesia also exists in the tourism sector. Not a few tourists from the Russian Far East region visit Indonesia. Ambassador Wahid added that in order to further develop this cooperation Indonesia is planned to participate in the 23rd PITE and the organization of Indonesian business and festival forums in Vladivostok at the end of May 2019.
“From the meeting with a number of business actors in Vladivostok, Indonesian products are in great demand and anticipated in the region. I expect the participation of the central and regional governments, as well as the Indonesian business to participate in the Indonesian PITE, business forum and festival at the end of May 2019 in Vladivostok, “Ambassador Wahid said.
During a visit to Vladivostok Ambassador Wahid also met Nikita Anisimov, Chancellor of Far Eastern Federal University (FEFU) to discuss increasing cooperation in higher education and higher education, including the possibility of reopening Indonesian studies at the FEFU, the venue for the 2012 APEC Summit and Eastern annual forum. Economic Forum. Ambassador Wahid also met and discussed with 30 Indonesian citizens, most of whom were students.